I sucked in my breath when I heard “artichokes.” They wanted to serve “Roasted Pepper and Artichoke Spread” as an appetizer at the women’s dinner where I had been invited to speak.
Yes, the recipe is in Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook. . . yes, I chose it for the book. No, I am not a picky eater. . . that simply was not allowed in my growing-up home. . . but then, I wasn’t faced with an artichoke until I was out on my own and choosing what to put on my own plate.
My mom got enthused about artichokes sometime after I went to college, and she started adding them to our holiday menus. Our one daughter thinks they’re great. I seem to be the generation that got missed with a taste for the thistle.
But I knew enough to put a recipe with artichokes as a main ingredient in the Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook when it got rave reviews from its tester. I just hadn’t counted on needing to eat it myself—and especially not in full view of an audience when I was the cookbook-author, dinner-guest speaker for a banquet-room full of women last Friday night.
The planning committee for the event had asked me to choose the menu. They wanted to do an all slow-cooker meal, and I went for the Chicken Sweet and Sour, the dish on the cover of my new Fix-It and Forget-It PINK Cookbook—a great entrée—along with a broccoli recipe with big flavor, a refreshing salad, and a chocolate dessert that no one could believe came out of a slow cooker.
But these women were ahead of me on the appetizers. “We want to start with Roasted Pepper and Artichoke Spread.” Of course, I agreed.
I loaded up my little appetizer plate with crackers and fresh veggies for dipping. I left a little corner for my “no-thank-you”-sized serving of the Spread.
I swiped a little dip onto a cracker. It was warm and cheesy-tasting with an interesting vegetable-ish flavor. I went back for a bigger bite.
All around me, women were murmuring about how amazingly good the Spread was. I had to agree. That planning committee had done right by not asking me!
I loved it. . . I loved it. And it’s now on the menu for our next meal with friends or family. Gotta love those people who help you out of your small-minded prejudices.
Here’s my newly claimed recipe—
from Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook, Revised and Updated, page 18
Makes 3 cups, or about 12 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Ideal slow-cooker size: 1- to 1½-qt.
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup mayonnaise
8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 garlic clove, minced
14-oz. jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped finely
1/3 cup finely chopped roasted red bell peppers (from 7 ¼-oz. jar)
1. Combine Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, cream cheese, and garlic in food processor. Process until smooth. Place mixture in slow cooker.
2. Add artichoke hearts and red bell pepper. Stir well.
3. Cover. Cook on Low 1 hour. Stir again.
Serving suggestion: Use as spread for crackers, cut-up fresh vegetables, or snack-bread slices.