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Artichoke Balls

These are popular at many a New Orleans table during the holidays, especially at Thanksgiving. They’re easy to make and hard to resist eating. They should still be soft when you take them out of the oven; browning is not really a goal.

DiMartinos-StuffedArtichokes

  • 2 cans artichoke hearts packed in water
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 anchovy (optional)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Dump the liquid from the cans of artichokes and rinse the artichokes. Twice. Drain well.

2. Reserve two tablespoons of the bread crumbs on a small plate.

3. Put the artichoke hearts and all the remaining ingredients into a food processor. In bursts of two or three seconds each, process to thoroughly mix all the ingredients, and to cut the artichoke hearts into pieces about the size of your little fingernail.

4. Roll the mixture into balls about an inch in diameter. Then roll them around lightly in the plate of reserved bread crumbs, to pick up a very light bread crumb crust.

5. Place the balls on a greased baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until the bread crumbs on the outside just begin to brown.

6. Allow to cool, then serve. These are better at warm room temperature than either hot or cold.

Makes two to three dozen.

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