appetizers, snacks

sticky pine nut and artichoke spread.

sticky pine nut artichoke spread. | a periodic table

I posted a photo of this on Instagram the other day, and one of you lovely people who follow me was like “Recipe?” and I thought, you know what? Recipe. This one’s for you, Jennifer; you know who you are. Thank you.

I don’t need to stall just to think of something awesome to say about this little plate of food, because – brown as it may be – this little plate of food is already awesome. Why make anyone sit through words if they don’t need to? There’s no rule in life which states that I have to write x amount of words about anything.

sticky pine nut artichoke spread. | a periodic table

So, here: recipe. Another one from the “Shannon loves a fast put-together in the summer” files. This time, it comes from Jamie Oliver: my newest chef obsession stemming from nowhere, so far as I can tell. I’ve avoided getting mixed up in Jamie Oliver for maybe 15 years, and now? Hooked. As Jamie would say, I’m gobsmacked.

More on that later; for now, we feast on this delightful mess of things. Found in Jamie O’s Food Escapes: Over 100 Recipes from the Great Food Regions of the World, it’s easily missed, hiding out on a page of random tapas suggestions. I do it a bit differently than he did: where his is laying solo on a plate (a great way to go, don’t get me wrong), I set mine on a bed of either regular or white bean hummus. An extra treat, to be sure, and it does double work of making the dish go further but also become more of a thing you set atop a slice of grilled bread (and I will squeeze in some grilled bread at every opportunity.)

sticky pine nut artichoke spread. | a periodic table

If the idea of coating toasted pine nuts with honey, lemon, and fresh thyme and subsequently tossing them with artichokes and dumping them on a plate of hummus sounds weird to you, so be it. It’s weird amazing, and you’ll want this again and again. Also: takes like 4 minutes from start to finish – the perfect summer bite. You could even make this with my Persian watermelon salad from the other day and have yourself the best little summer snack meal on the planet.

Adapted (mostly in a measurements way; I like an extra sticky pine nut) from Food Escapes: Over 100 Recipes from the Great Food Regions of the World by Jamie Oliver. I have about 830 more recipes planned from this book, so you may as well settle in.

Sticky Pine Nuts and Artichokes

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • thick zest strips from 1/2 lemon (don’t even THINK about grating it)
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 10-ounce jar whole artichokes, drained (larger ones halved, if you wish)
  • 2 to 3 tsp honey
  • Pinch (or more) chile flake
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • Baguette, sliced diagonally, for serving
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, for brushing bread
  • Regular or white bean hummus, plain (no flavor varieties here), for serving

Make that spread:

Heat olive oil in a medium nonstick pan over medium heat. Add zest and fry for a few minutes until a little crisp and fragrant; add thyme and pine nuts, stirring and tossing constantly until the pine nuts begin to toast and everything smells like heaven.

Add artichokes to the pan of delicious; stir in honey, still over medium heat, until coated. Season with a little chile flake, salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes until artichokes have warmed through. Check seasoning and add more as needed; remove from heat.

Grill that bread:

Heat either your grill (you know, if you’re using it anyway) or a grill pan (easier) to medium high heat. Brush pan with a little olive oil, and brush both sides of bread slices. Grill a few minutes on each side until grill marks form; set aside to platter.

To Serve:

Spread however much hummus you want on a plate, dump all that artichoke pine nut mix in the middle, and serve warm with grilled bread alongside.

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  • Reply John/Kitchen Riffs June 23, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    I’ve never read any of Jamie Oliver’s cookbooks. Really should take a peek — I see a lot of his recipes on blogs, from Australia in particular, and they always seem pretty good. Certainly this one looks nice! Loads of flavors/texture, and you’re right — quick to put together. Really nice — thanks.

    • Reply shannon July 11, 2016 at 2:43 pm

      They’re a good read: he’s a very enthusiastic cookbook writer, which translates into some nice storytelling. And I know some find him a little over-exuberant, but he absolutely knows his stuff.

  • Reply Monica June 27, 2016 at 9:35 am

    I’m drooling over this! Glad you shared because it looks/sounds totally delicious. I can see myself making a meal out of it. I’d watched one of Jamie Oliver’s series that aired on one of the major stations about a year back, and I was so impressed by the simple delicious food – and gorgeous styling of his dishes. I wish I could taste this one right now.

    • Reply shannon July 11, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      Yay! I always like it when semi-strange things sound delicious to others (as much as they do to me!) 🙂 I would totally make a meal out of this: sort of like how i make a meal out of guacamole and chips here and there.

      simple and delicious is a perfect way to describe Jamie Oliver’s approach: some recipes in the two books I have currently do have some serious ingredient lists, but the vast majority are incredibly simple and casual but beautiful. Definitely love that!

  • Reply Ashley June 27, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    I’ve been dying to make this…but need to finish the container of hummus in the fridge first since I’m the only consumer of hummus in this house. Sigh. The difficulties of adulthood.

    Jamie Oliver has some little gems of recipes, much like this one. My foodie aunt and uncle have gifted me with a few of his cookbooks. Two are stunning, though I don’t make many things from them (Jamie’s America and Jamie’s Italy). The third (Jamie’s Food Revolution) has several recipes for everyday meals and a few for special but very do-able meals, most of which are Eric-friendly (aka meat and potatoes). I haven’t made all the things that have caught my eye in it, but it’s very tempting to do so!

    • Reply shannon July 11, 2016 at 2:49 pm

      Don’t feel too bad: I was the only hummus-consumer in THIS house until maybe a year ago, when Mr. Table magically discovered it and couldn’t believe i didn’t know/ hadn’t told him about it (insert eyeroll face emoji, GROANNNNN.) I’ll look up the Jamie cookbooks you mentioned: it’s amazing how many books he has out there, and there’s a magazine, etc. and i’m sort of just getting into it for the first time. His food makes me excited though, right? It’s nice when things are manageable but also special, i think, and he’s got a knack for that.

  • Reply Abbe@This is How I Cook June 28, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    I am so glad that Jennifer asked for the recipe. Yum, yum! Can’t wait to make this which may be as soon as this weekend! I’ve never read Jamie Oliver. I think I saw him once on a tv show and he seemed a bit overdone. This on the other hand, looks perfectly cooked!

  • Reply shannon July 11, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Abbe, me too! I loved this one, and it’s so quick and easy I almost skipped posting it altogether – ridiculous, right? Yes.

    That was sort of my exposure to Jamie Oliver: the years-ago “Naked Chef” show he had on Food Network, i think. He was all over the place with his zippy self, and at the time, I didn’t really know my way around the kitchen, and he just seemed really advanced for my abilities. Now, i feel more comfortable with what he’s talking about, so maybe that’s behind my rediscovery/newfound like. 🙂

  • Reply Willow | Will Cook For Friends August 4, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    You had me at honey, lemon, thyme, and pine nuts. Ooooh, my. I know what I’m making the next time I have a potluck to go to! (And hells yes to grilled bread, by the way — any excuse to grill some baguette, and I’m in!)

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