Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Artichoke, Caramelized Onion, Feta Bruschetta

One afternoon when CB and I were in Rome we stopped off at a little restaurant just outside of Villa Borghese, this was by far one of the more entertaining lunches we had. CB lived in Rome for a year while he was studying architecture so his Italian came back to him rather quickly after we got to Rome, I had taken six years of Spanish lessons, which helped me learn Italian faster when I started studying it in anticipation of our trip. So, we tried as much as we could to order in Italian whenever we were out at a restaurant or at a coffee shop. It was easy - when we couldn't figure out the words, the server would simply slip from Italian to English without hesitation. As we were sitting outside enjoying the warm weather and waiting for our meal, an older asian couple approached the restaurant and the outdoor tables where we were sitting. When the waiter greeted them, the gentleman of the couple looked at the waiter and in very accented English said "SPAGHETTI" and proceeded to mimic how one would eat spaghetti. One hand holding an imaginary bowl, and the other miming how one might put a fork full of spaghetti into your mouth. I thought it so funny that he would ask a waiter in a restaurant in Rome if he had spaghetti. When the waiter let them know that indeed they had spaghetti on the menu the couple sat down and proceeded to mime everything they wanted, from beer to salad and again with the spaghetti. It was so great to see a couple that didn't know one word of Italian, sit at an Italian restaurant and get exactly the meal they wanted just by acting out the process of eating and drinking what they were craving. Food was really the second language that brought all of us together at that little outdoor cafe that bright sunny Roman afternoon. This bruschetta is what we had as our appetizer that day - so simple and yet so wonderful, like most Roman food.

One small onion, caramelized
1 jar artichoke hearts (in oil) chopped
1/4 C feta cheese crumbled
1 loaf Italian bread cut on a bias and toasted

Mix the artichoke hearts, onion and feta together while the onion is still warm. Let set to meld flavors together. Toast the bread slices. When bread is tosted top with artichoke muixture and serve.


Crystal & Ryan - Café Cyan said...

Do you see much difference in the oil packed artichokes vs. water packed?

I usually use water packed and they taste a little...tangy? Something is off, but I'm not sure what. Maybe I should try oil packed.


JB said...

I think artichokes are tangy. I think it's just the way they taste. I like the oil packed ones simply because I like the extra flavor of the oil on the artichokes, especially when it's only being used with a few other ingredients. If I were making a spinach and atichoke dip, I'd use the water packed ones.

wheresmymind said...

Any time I try to mime something to Steph I usually get smacked onside the head ;)

All Adither said...

Oh, wow. This looks delicious!

Angie (from over at www.HalfAssedKitchen.com)