Baked Artichoke Hearts and Pomegranates, Oh My!

Posted by Brette in Food

On Martha’s show yesterday, Sarah Carey and Lucinda Scala Quinn both cooked their “Sensational Sides” from the November issue of Living. These are recipes their families make every year. Sarah made peach stuffing, which I find too weird to attempt (although the fact that Sarah was raised on a commune in Woodstock is fascinating). Lucinda made baked artichoke hearts. I have to say when I saw this in the magazine, it didn’t interest me, but when I saw her make it, it looked so good (and Martha was raving about it)!

Getting to the heart

Getting to the heart

So, out I ran to the grocery store to buy some artichoke hearts (you have no idea how many grocery store trips Martha is causing me!). The recipe calls for 3 nine oz packages. I only bought one since the daughter wasn’t home for dinner and Mini-Martha would likely have only a taste. I cut the rest of the recipe by 1/3 as well.

This was super easy to throw together. Put your hearts in the pan (sounds

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

like a song, doesn’t it?). Mix breadcrumbs (Martha will be proud – I made my own for this!), grated cheese, herbs and seasonings together and spread over it. Then whisk lemon juice, garlic and oil together and spread over it.

You cook it for about half an hour at 325 covered, then crank it to

Crunchy!

Crunchy!

375 uncovered. How did it taste? This was pretty good. The hearts were soft and the topping was crunchy. Here’s how I would improve it. First of all, use melted butter instead of olive oil. It just needs some extra flavor. Cut back on the lemon juice. It was a bit a tart I thought. I think I would make this again with those changes. I can also see adding some bacon crumbles or more cheese to this to make it really decadent.

Pomegranate Peeling

My kids like pomegranates, but they are such a huge mess. So I was simply stunned when I saw Martha easily remove the seeds from one on her show. I had to try it.

Scoring

Scoring

Martha says to cut through the skin as if you are quartering it, but only cut the skin, not the insides. Use that incision to get your fingers in and pull it apart into 4 quarters.

The pieces

The pieces

Once you have the 4 quarters, whack them on the back with the back of a wooden spoon and all the seeds will magically pop out (so says Martha). The POM pomegranate lady Martha had on didn’t even know this!

I had to try it. First I sliced the skin. This was easy. Then I pulled it into quarters. Again, not too hard, although it did not come apart very evenly.

Then I got to take out my aggressions on it with the wooden spoon. It did

Seeds remaining

Seeds remaining

get most of the seeds out, but you do have to pull some of the pulp out to get to some and get some seeds out by hand. Overall, fairly effective. It was messy though. Seeds were flying every which way and you can see juice was spattering too, if you look at the edges of the bowl. This was pretty effective though and much easier than trying to peel it and pick out seeds by hand. I will definitely use this method again. Now if Martha just had a plan for how to eat the seeds without having to have a spitoon at the ready, I would be really excited!

The results

The results

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4 Responses

  • Hi wonderful whoever you are! I was looking up the artichoke recipe because I’m thinking about making it for Thanksgiving my hubby is a little leary about the idea. Then I discovered all these wondeful entries! I’m so glad, I’ve often wondered how some of her things will turn out in the not-so-glammed up home of mine and don’t want to put the effort in to try sometimes, so I’m glad (and very impressed) you do.

    I just went to the store and bought canned artichoke hearts, I didn’t see it said frozen. Do you think those will work just as well? Did you use the whole amount of oil? And lastly for the bread crumbs, I just bought a loaf of french bread, should I just tear it up and dry it and use that? I’m such a beginner, yours looked great!

  • Hi Afton. I don’t know if canned would work. Are they canned in oil or just liquid? The only canned artichoke hearts I’ve ever bought are the kind that come in a glass jar and are marinated in oil. I think they might be too oily. What’s nice about this dish is the chokes taste very light. If your chokes are canned, be sure to really drain them well.

    I used 1/3 of the oil (since I was only making 1/3 the size of the recipe). It was the right amount, but I would try substituting butter for part of it for a nicer flavor.

    If you use French bread, I would recommend you rip it into chunks and whiz it up in your food processor to get bread crumbs. Pieces of bread would be too big for this recipe.

  • Denise/CT says:

    Thank you for your tips. I will try the butter instead of the oil and I’ll use less lemon juice. I’ll let you know how it turns outs. I have a crowd that like artichoke hearts but are very particular on how their food taste.

  • Denise – let me know how it goes. I would love to hear how your crew felt about it. And let me know if the butter gave it a nice taste!