Saffron-Infused Polenta Stuffed Artichokes
2 (1 pound) rolls polenta (plain or flavored, I like sundried tomato)
2 tablespoons olive oil (or more if desired)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons basil
1 teaspoon salt or garlic salt
1 ounce saffron
1. Remove spiky edges and core of artichoke to create a flower effect. Save the heart if this is a main course, remove it if its an appetizer. Set aside.
2. Mash the polenta in a large bowl. Add olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings. You can use more or less if desired so long as the saffron flavor isn't overpowered. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
3. Stuff the artichoke working from the outside leaves in. When used as an appetizer, I like to fill the center with polenta mixture as well, but this is optional.
4. Steam the stuffed artichokes for 15-20 minutes until their a darker green color and leaves are easily removed, but not so much that the fall apart when you touch them. Let cool then bake for 30-40 minutes until polenta is crispy on top. Serve immediately.
Source of recipe: I invented this recipe for my friend's dinner party when he jokingly requested saffron-infused polenta stuffed artichokes, trying to come up with a complicated dish. To my surprise, this turned out to be a beloved dish to all my friends and family, vegan and carnivore alike. Its a great dish to impress guests with at dinner parties but too expensive and time consuming to do everyday.