Today we released our fish into the pond out back! The saga of how two people with zero interest in personal fish ownership ended up saddled with three very large goldfish is long, but a short and highly depressing recap goes thusly: Foolish landlord stocked shallow back pond with 12 tiny goldfish. Some survived and got larger. Winter came. Pond froze. One goldfish survived by being insulated by the dead bodies of its fish friends.
Honestly, it reads like a Russian novel. That spring, after scooping the dead fish out of the pond, the lone survivor was revealed. He was sluggish, probably because of the cold and hypoxia, but I anthropomorphized it as depression, named him Trauma, and bought him two friends (Newbie #1 and Newbie #2).
When I bought them they were cute little whippersnappers.
They spent the summer in the pond, getting bigger with Trauma. And then bigger, and then bigger. Here’s a picture – please excuse the blurry, paparazzi-esque quality.
When winter came, I spent way more money than I wanted to setting them up with a tank, and then way more time then I wanted maintaining an aquarium. Trash cat was appreciative though (for about 20 minutes, until the novelty ended).
Today my bondage ends! Until winter, of course.
But back to the point of this post, which, surprisingly, isn’t my fish. It’s artichoke toast. This is a quintessential pantry food (plus some dairy that you likely have in your fridge right now).
The recipe calls for mayonnaise and parmesan, but sometimes I halve the amount of mayonnaise and add a few splashes of cream if I have it around. The recipe is very forgiving! I tend to go hard on the garlic, but feel free to dial it back. I forgot it once, and honestly, the end result still tasted good. You don’t even need great parm; that powder in a can won’t do, but the pre-grated waxy generic brand in the deli section is fine.
There are really no pesky steps to this – just chop what needs chopping, grate what needs grating, and mix, mix mix.
I originally made this recipe after I found it, while in college, in some kind of profile of a fabulous Southern couple who serve it at all of their parties as a dip. I made it for a dinner party thinking it would be oh-so-elegant. It wasn’t, as anyone who’s actually seen artichoke dip can predict. Artichoke dip tends to look like cat food. However, put it on a slice of toasted crusty bread and serve it with a green salad and this is all you’ll see:
It’s that good. Enjoy!
- 1 can artichoke hearts (not marinated)
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise (or 2 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons cream)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a loaf pan or other small baking dish.
- Mix everything together and add a generous number of grinds of fresh black pepper.
- Spoon into the baking dish and cover. Bake 20 minutes covered, then remove lid (or foil) and stir. Bake another 20 minutes, this time uncovered. Serve hot on toasted good quality bread.