Monday, June 4, 2012

Artichoke Casserole

It’s six years later and we still refer to the summer of  ’06 as “The Best Summer Ever.” It was the first summer I wasn't working since graduating from college, and for Alex and Luke, who were 12 and 10 at the time, it was the first time they wouldn’t be shipped off to a camp to spend their summer days. Needless to say, we all were psyched. As luck would have it, friends were renting their home on Long Beach Island. Yes please! So we packed our bags and headed down the Parkway for a five-week stint. It was pure heaven. Some of the best memories of that summer were having friends and family visit, cracking out the chips and crackers, and yes, a few cold ones, and making a batch—usually several batches—of artichoke casserole. I have no idea where this recipe came from, but it became a staple that summer and continues to be a favorite at family gatherings. Whenever I make it, it reminds me of that summer on Long Beach Island…The Best Summer Ever! —Diana

P.S. Instead of posting a picture of the dish, I decided to share with you some pictures from that summer. Oh, did I mention that it was The Best Summer EVER?! 

So here we are in the back yard eating. We did a lot of that. If you look closely, you'll see the artichoke casserole on the table, somewhere, unless we had already eaten it. (Pictured from left clockwise, Taisia (standing), Lisa, Jennifer, Little Arnold, Big Arnold, Alex and Danielle.
You’ll Need:
4 cans artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
¾ cups flavored bread crumbs
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup shredded provolone
½ cup olive oil
Pepper to taste
Chips or crackers…and lots of them!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all the ingredients, except the oil, in a large mixing bowl. Gently combine, add oil, and mix more. Lightly coat bottom and sides of a 2-quart casserole dish with non-stick spray. Transfer mixture to dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Serve warm with your favorite chips or crackers. Or do as I do, and just grab yourself a fork and dig in! 

Aaron, Alex and Jennifer in an artichoke casserole stooper.
It's obvious how torn up Luke and Alex were about not being in camp that summer. 

There I am digging into the dip as we all greet Ernie, whose house we rented that summer. Thanks to  Ernie and Kathy, and that artichoke casserole, we had...say it with me people..."the best summer ever!" 

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