Crispy Artichoke Pots and Basil Melba Toasts with Pepper Panzanella Salsa

When Blue Ribbon asked me if I would be part of the ‘Best Thing With Sliced Bread’ blogger challenge a while ago, I couldn’t help but say yes. Sometimes I like to put myself in a bit of a muddle, you see. Quickly after receiving the brief for the challenge I realized that I might have bit off more than I can chew…

Crispy Artichoke Pots and Basil Melba Toasts with Pepper Panzanella Salsa

With two very talented competitors being part of the campaign, Candice Bresler and Chef Lesego Semenya, I was rather nervous when the first mystery box arrived last week.

Crispy Artichoke Pots and Basil Melba Toasts with Pepper Panzanella Salsa

It goes like this. For the next three months, Blue Ribbon will drop a mystery box at our front doors and we are then instructed to create a dish that will inspire and delight – obviously using Blue Ribbon bread as the star of the show.

Crispy Artichoke Pots and Basil Melba Toasts with Pepper Panzanella Salsa

Like, dudes, I love a little jam sandwich – but given that the ingredients they sent were not close to butter and jam, I had to come up with something a bit more fanciful…

Crispy Artichoke Pots and Basil Melba Toasts with Pepper Panzanella Salsa

The ingredients they sent was:

A can of artichoke hearts, eggs, fresh basil, robot peppers, crème fraiche and of course a loaf of Blue Ribbon bread.

 

Our creations will be judged and up for grabs each month is a R1000 Yuppiechef voucher. The overall winner will win the jackpot – a whopping R10 000 Yuppiechef voucher. (I might already have spent way to long on their site, making my imaginary wish list)

 

I decided to use the Blue Ribbon bread in three ways in my first appetizer recipe.

 

First, I made a creamy artichoke dip combining it with crème fraiche, eggs and seasoning – topped with a buttery breadcrumb (with added chili flakes for kick) and baked it in the oven.

Crispy Artichoke Pots and Basil Melba Toasts with Pepper Panzanella Salsa

Then I used the sliced bread and sliced it even thinner for crispy basil melba toasts.

Crispy Artichoke Pots and Basil Melba Toasts with Pepper Panzanella Salsa

Lastly I made a fresh salsa with the peppers and basil, and added crunchy fried croutons with a few drizzles of olive oil. ALL of the crunch, right here…

Crispy Artichoke Pots and Basil Melba Toasts with Pepper Panzanella Salsa

This appetizer can be made in smaller ramekins if you want individual portions, or simply have the whole bowl and toasts ready to enjoy before your big braai this Heritage Day.

Crispy Artichoke Pots and Basil Melba Toasts with Pepper Panzanella Salsa

These are best served warm and the combination of the fresh basil with the sweetness of the artichokes works pretty well. So there it is guys, my first recipe for the #BTWSB Blue Ribbon blogger challenge. Check them out ontwitter and facebook – and please send some positive, winning vibes my way and follow our creations with #BTWSB. Cheers!

Crispy Artichoke Pots and Basil Melba Toasts with Pepper Panzanella Salsa

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Crispy Artichoke Pots and Basil Melba Toasts with Pepper Panzanella Salsa
A recipe for a delicious appetizer - a warm artichoke dip with crispy breadcrumbs served with basil melba toast and a pepper panzanella salsa.
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Course snack
Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 20 min
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Artichoke Pots
Croutons
Salsa
Melba Toast
Course snack
Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 20 min
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Artichoke Pots
Croutons
Salsa
Melba Toast
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Artichoke Pots
  1. First off, for the artichoke pots; transfer the drained artichoke hearts to a food processor and blend it up.
  2. Don't make puree, it just needs to be broken apart. Rinse and dry the food processor.
  3. In a mixing bowl combine the artichokes with one egg and one tub of crème fraiche. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Next up, for the crumb topping; use the toasted slices of bread and break it into pieces into the food processor. Crank it up until you have breadcrumbs.
  5. Season the crumbs with salt, pepper and chili flakes.
  6. Scoop the artichoke dip into bowls and top with bread crumbs.
  7. Add the knobs of butter on the top of the crumbs and bake in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius until golden, about 20 minutes.
Croutons
  1. Heat the oil in a small pot on the stove and fry the pulled bread until golden brown – drain on kitchen paper.
Salsa
  1. Chop the peppers up very fine with basil and combine it with your crispy croutons. Drizzle with olive oil and season.
  2. Remove the artichoke pots after baking time and leave to rest.
Melba Toast
  1. Combine the butter with the 3 tablespoons of basil and carefully spread it over your extra thin slices of white bread.
  2. Set the oven to grill and transfer the melba toasts to an oven safe baking tray – I draped my thin melba over a mug to get the curve effect.
  3. Keep an eye on these, they toast pretty quick under the grill.
  4. To bring your dish together, simply serve your appetizers with crispy basil melba toasts for easy dipping action, with pepper and panzanella salsa on the side.
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