A simple but sophisticated hot nibble that works well as part of a hors d’oeuvre buffet or as a first course appetizer. For the latter, arrange the artichokes on curly lettuce leaves with a few cured olives and a small wedge of lemon.
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a baking pan or line it with parchment paper.
2. Drain the artichokes and cut the larger ones in half lengthwise. Mash the garlic and pepper with a fork until a paste forms; place paste in a bowl, add the bread crumbs and cheese, and mix well. Mix the egg and 1 teaspoon water in another bowl.
3. Dip each artichoke piece into the egg mixture, roll it in the bread crumb-cheese mixture and then place it on the baking pan.
4. Bake 15 minutes. Serve immediately, offering toothpicks to handle the hot artichokes.
Adapted from "The Ovens of Brittany Cookbook," by Terese Allen (Amherst Press).
Copyright by Terese Allen