2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Thyme
1 1/2 cups Cannellini or White Beans or Navy Beans
2 ounces Goat Cheese
Crisp Artichoke Hearts
4 whole Organic Artichokes
1 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Canola Oil
2 cups Balsamic Vinaigrette
4 slices Sourdough Bread
This recipe has 4 components. The spread, the crisp artichoke hearts, the balsamic reduction and the toasted bread for garnish.
The artichokes do not need to be boiled first.
Begin by peeling 2 of the artichokes until you get to the hearts (be sure to remove all of the internal hairs and fibers). Sauté the artichokes in a medium size skillet with olive oil, shallots, thyme, and the white beans on medium high heat for 10 minutes or until softened.
Place mixture into a blender and add remaining ingredients, and pulse until all ingredients are blended.
Heat the canola oil in a large pot.
To make the crisp artichokes, simply cut the tough leaves around the artichokes until you reach the heart, keeping part of the stem (again removing all of the fibers and hair). Cut into quarters, toss lightly in flour, and fry until crisp in the oil.
Remove from pan, and drain on paper towels.
To make the balsamic reduction, simply put the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan on high heat, and reduce down to almost a syrup consistency. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.
Toast 4 slices of sourdough bread. Place on a serving plate.
Lightly spread a spoonful of the pureed artichoke mixture on the bread, and then top with crisp artichoke pieces. Drizzle a little balsamic reduction around on the top and season with cracked pepper.