Perhaps you have a loved one addicted to artichokes. Or perhaps it is you yourself who has the addiction. You have two choices: go to a meeting of Artichoke Lovers Anonymous and admit you are powerless before the tasty little thistle; OR augment your cooking repertoire with recipes like this one.
“This one” is a simple little vegan recipe I adapted from PETA’s oldie-but-goodie cookbook, “The Compassionate Cook.” I almost overlooked it, as it is listed simply as “Creamy Pasta Salad,” but thankfully I didn’t. I made a few minor tweaks – Added tomatoes! Fresh basil! And double the amount of artichokes! – and the salad found its way into my artichoke-lovin’ partner’s lunch box on a number of occasions last year.
- 2 cups Cooked Pasta (I used tri-color tortellini)
- 1 soup-sized can Artichoke Hearts (usually 12 – 14 oz.) If whole, quarter them.
- 1/2 cup diced Vidalia Onion
- 16 Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup torn Fresh Basil, very loosely packed (Or 1 1/2 tablespoons Dried Basil)
- 1/4 cup Vegenaise
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- Freshly grated Black Pepper, to taste
- Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, and rinse in cold water.
- Add artichokes, onion, tomatoes, and basil to the pasta. Mix very gently.
- Mix the Vegenaise, lemon juice, and salt together in a small bowl to make the dressing. If using dried instead of fresh basil, add that as well. Stir well.
- Add the dressing to the pasta and mix gently again. Add a few generous grinds of black pepper.
- Refrigerate for several hours before serving.
- Canned artichokes can be expensive, so wait for them to go on sale and stock up. (You can always use them in tossed salads and on pizza as well!) Pay attention to prices – sometimes the quartered ones are cheaper.
- If you’re sensitive to soy, you could also use two to three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in place of the Vegenaise. Add the lemon juice, dried basil (if using), and salt to the oil in a small bottle or jar and shake well to blend, then add to pasta.