I grew up thinking of artichokes are very special side dishes reserved for nights when my mom or dad would take the time to steam them, trim them and serve them up with a heaping side of butter. I thought of them as difficult to prepare and so, as an adult, I didn’t really eat them very often until I was in college and noticed that you could buy the best part of an artichoke – the heart – in a jar, already trimmed and marinated. This discovery was legitimately life-changing, and thanks to jarred artichoke hearts, I’ve been able to enjoy artichoke hearts on salads and in sauces without going through the lengthy trimming and steaming process for the better part of a decade, now. It’s a simple thing, but it brings me joy. What can I say.
I usually use jarred artichoke hearts for pasta or salad, but I absolutely love to oven fry them. The marinade gives them all the flavor they need, and provides the stick-factor for the breading, so all you have to do to get these on the table in less than 20 minutes is give ’em a quick bath in some flour and panko, et voila! five-star appetizer after 15 minutes in a hot oven. I like to serve these with a creamy feta sauce because, to me, feta and artichoke hearts are meant to be together, but a marinara-style sauce like the one I prepared for this recipe, or a quick aioli would be equally as delicious. Here’s how to get everything together:
Oven Fried Artichoke Hearts With Creamy Feta Spread
For the Artichoke Hearts
- 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts you can use as small or large a jar as you like
- panko bread crumbs
- AP flour
- olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
For the Creamy Feta Spread
- 1 block feta cheese
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 lemon juiced and zested
- 2-3 tsp honey to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat an oven to 200FAN or 400 F
Grab two plates or pie tins and add AP flour to one plate or tin and add panko bread crumbs to the other plate or tin. I don't measure the crumbs or flour; they're simply for dredging the artichoke hearts, so I just add a bit to the tins – enough to make a small pile – and then I add more if I need it.
Drain the artichoke hearts through a strainer, but don't rinse them. We're gonna use the flavor from the marinade as our seasoning.
One at a time, dredge the artichoke in the flour first, and then the bread crumbs. The residual oil from the marinade will help the breading stick. Press the bread crumbs into the artichoke heart and then carefully pop each one on to a parchment-lined baking tray.
Drizzle some olive oil over the top of all the breaded artichokes and then sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over the entire tray, including between the artichoke hearts – this will create some bigger chunks of crispy parmesan that you can sprinkle over everything when it's finished.
Pop the entire tray into the hot oven and bake for 15 minutes, until the artichokes are golden and crispy with some darker edges. The parmesan will be deeply browned and crispy.
While the artichokes cook, prepare the feta spread by combining all of the ingredients for the spread, aside from the salt and pepper and olive oil, in a blender or food processor. Begin blending, and add in the olive oil (using more than 1/4 cup if necessary) as the mixture begins to come together until you have the consistency you want. I like the spread to be very thick but still creamy. I usually blend it in the blender until the biggest chunks of feta are blitzed, and then finish by stirring it in a bowl until it's nice and creamy, with no more big chunks. You can do the whole thing by hand with a potato masher, if you want, it'll just take a bit longer.
Serve the artichoke hearts over the spread, or with the spread on the side. Sprinkle the crispy parmesan over the top of everything. Enjoy hot!