Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Mediterranean Melts

God these are good. Every time my husband sees them on the menu plan for the week, he looks forward to their day. They're easy to make, too.

Mediterranean Melts

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 thick slices whole grain crusty bread
1 lb frozen artichoke hearts
5-6 cloves garlic, sliced
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
olive tapenade
gruyere or fontina cheese (or something similarly creamy and nutty)

Toast bread slices. Meanwhile, defrost artichoke hearts and chop tomatoes and garlic.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat and when it shimmers, add garlic. After about 1 minute, add defrosted artichoke hearts. Mix them to coat with olive oil and garlic, and then leave them to get golden. Stir to get them cooking on their other sides, too, but don't let the garlic get too toasty. When the artichoke hearts are sufficiently golden but the garlic's not toasted yet, remove and set aside.

Add remaining tbsp olive oil to skillet and add tomatoes. Let them simmer a bit so they become sauce-like and absorb the garlic flavors from the artichoke hearts.

Meanwhile, spread olive tapenade on each slice of bread. Then top with artichoke-garlic mixture, tomatoes, and a slice of cheese.

Put under broiler for as long as it takes to melt cheese, depending on your oven. Keep an eye on them -- you don't want them to burn!

Then take a bite of gooey heaven. Delicious.

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