When a freshly baked sourdough bread loaf is delivered to my door, I know exactly what to do with it - make an open-faced spinach and artichoke sandwich. This spinach and artichoke sandwich is very similar to the much loved spinach and artichoke dip, but without the roux and all the cheese (it has some shaved parmesan) then smothered on warm sourdough bread. It's simple, creamy and packs in so much flavor that you would be crazy not to try it, especially with all that artichoke in the market right now.
This spinach and artichoke sandwich contains more veggies than just spinach and artichoke! It has two large florets of broccoli, a handful of mushrooms, some green bell pepper, shallots (or onion), and garlic. You can pick what you like or what you have available but this combination always works well. The veggies are cooked in butter and cream and the dish holds a subtle heat from the addition of a green chili and red chili flakes. This recipe serves 4 generously, and the spinach and artichoke can last well in the fridge for a couple of days. (When reheating, add a splash of water to loosen the mixture up.)
Start by preparing your veggies. Remove the tough lower leaves at the bottom of the artichoke then boil in salted water for 30 mins. You can also use canned artichokes for convenience. Once the artichoke has cooked, let it cool down before chopping it up. Slice the mushrooms thinly, and finely chop the bell pepper, broccoli, shallots, garlic and green chili. On medium flame, add the butter to a pot along with the shallots and green chili. Let this sauté until fragrant, around 2 minutes. Then add the garlic and sauté until the garlic becomes golden brown.
Next, add the cream to the pot along with some crushed black pepper, dried Italian herbs, salt and red chili flakes. Stir the mixture and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Then add the milk, and let it cook until you start to see it bubble, around 5 minutes and stir. Before adding the bell pepper and mushroom, reduce the heat to medium low to prevent the creamy mixture from sticking to the pan as the sauce thickens. Let the bell pepper and mushroom cook for a further five minutes before adding in the artichoke and broccoli, stirring slowly but continuously.
Preheat the oven to 200C for the bread. The sauce in the meantime will start to thicken, bubbling on a low simmer. Once it has reduced, add in all of the spinach and mix until it wilts down.
I get my sourdough bread delivered to my door from Fort Negen in Amsterdam. Their country loaf is dark crusted and fermented for 26 hours making it so delicious with the creamy mix! The bread requires ten minutes in the oven. By the time it is warmed, the spinach and artichoke mixture will also be ready to take off the heat. Add some shaved parmesan to the mixture and stir it until the cheese has melted.
Creamy Spinach & Artichoke on Toast
Prep time: 5 mins or 35 mins with fresh artichoke Cook time: 35 mins Yield: 4 Origin: Western Author: Anika Pannu
6 artichoke hearts
1/3 cup green bell, finely chopped
8 mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 broccoli florets
2 shallots, finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 green chili
1 teaspoon red chili flakes, more for garnish
1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
crushed black pepper
salt to taste
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
shaved parmesan cheese
1. Prepare the veggies by removing the lower stems of the artichoke and boil for 30 minutes in salted water then chop into quarters when cooled. Thinly slice the mushrooms, finely chop the green bell pepper, shallots, broccoli, garlic, and green chili.
2. Add 50g of butter to a pan on medium heat and add the shallots and green chili. Sauté for 2 minutes.
3. Add garlic and sauté until the garlic becomes golden brown.
4. Add 1/2 cup of cream to the pan then season with salt, pepper, red chili flakes and dried Italian herbs and stir for 3 minutes.
5. Add 1 cup of milk to the pan letting it sit until it starts to bubble, around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add bell pepper and mushroom, allowing it to cook for 5 minutes while stirring slowly but continuously.
7. Add the chopped artichoke and broccoli. Let this cook until the sauce starts to thicken a little, around 5-6 minutes.
8. Preheat the oven to 200C for the bread.
9. Add spinach to the pan and stir.
10. While the spinach wilts, place the bread in the oven for 10 minutes.
11. Once the bread is warmed, take the spinach artichoke mixture off the heat and stir in a little shaved parmesan.
12. Butter the bread then place a heaped spoonful of the spinach and artichoke mixture on top, spreading it out to cover the bread.
13. To serve, shave more parmesan on top and sprinkle with red chili flakes.