Meatless Monday: the Jar of Artichokes

8 Feb

You know how there’s always one jar in your pantry whose sole purpose is to taunt you? It just stares at you every time you open the cabinet door as if to say, “You’re never going to find a use for me, are you?” And you acknowledge its presence, thinking, “Oh yeah, I need to use that sometime,” and then promptly ignore it as you close the cabinet again.

For me, it’s been a jar of ‘Trader Giotto’s Artichoke Antipasto.’ The label describes it as “an artichoke spread with extra virgin olive oil.” Seems innocent enough. I’m sure I just grabbed it one day at Trader Joe’s, no doubt thinking it would be a key component for some simple but as-yet-unplanned meal in the future. Then it sat in my cabinet. Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, it might have been sitting in Adam’s cabinet this whole time. Regardless, when we moved in together five months ago the jar moved with us, and it’s been sitting in our new cabinet ever since.

At least it was until yesterday. With no plans for Meatless Monday and a strong disinclination to move my car from its perfect parking spot, I decided to go back to basics and make a simple bruschetta. Sure, fresh tomatoes and basil would have been lovely, but given that it’s winter and I really needed to find a use for this jar of artichokes, I decided it would work.

olive oil-brushed, garlic-rubbed, freshly toasted bread slices

beginning the topping process

the finished product

And it did. I put my leftover ricotta to good use and topped some pieces with the artichoke spread and others with some of the tomato jam (with garlic and rosemary) that my mother made with her abundance of tomatoes. The ‘Artichoke Antipasto’ was not exactly what I expected (more vinegar-y than artichoke-y) but the ricotta helped mellow it a bit. The result was quite satisfactory- a light, fresh-tasting meal with minimal mess and no meat. Of course, now I have to figure out how to use up the rest of it since the half-empty jar is just sitting in my fridge, staring at me…

 

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