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Appetizers Bon Appetit
Artichoke 3/1/1998

ARTICHOKES WITH ROASTED RED PEPPER VELVET

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Servings: 6

Comments:
This is a low calorie appetizer (1 artichoke with cup sauce per serving = 134 calories).

Ingredients:

Artichokes
cup white wine vinegar
6 12-14 ounce fresh artichokes
teaspoon herbes de Provence

Roasted Red Pepper Velvet Sauce
Makes 1 cups. Start the night before.

1 cups plain nonfat yogurt
2 small green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 7.25 ounce jar roasted red peppers, well drained, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon chopped canned chipotle chilies
3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
teaspoon herbes de Provence

Directions:

Artichokes
Pour vinegar into small bowl. Cut stems and top 1-1/2 inches off artichokes. Peel away touch bottom outer leaves from artichokes. Dip surfaces of artichokes into vinegar. Cook artichokes in large pot of boiling salted water until knife pierces base easily, turning occasionally, about 30 minutes. Remove artichokes and cool.

Gently open top of each artichoke, spreading leaves. Holding artichoke with one hand, gently twist out center cone of artichoke leaves with other hand. Reserve cone. Using melon baller, scoop out choke. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill artichokes and cones separately.) Place artichokes on plates. Place cones pointed side down in center of artichokes. Spoon 1 tablespoon Roasted Red Pepper Velvet atop each cone. Sprinkle with herbes de Provence. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately. (Or let people pull off leaves and dip into sauce.)

Red Pepper Velvet Sauce
Set strainer over large bowl. Line strainer with 2 layers of cheesecloth, allowing 4 inches to extend over sides of strainer (do not let strainer touch bottom of bowl). Spoon yogurt into strainer. Fold overhanging cheesecloth over yogurt. Chill overnight (liquid will drain out and yogurt will thicken; discard liquid).

Finely chop green onions in processor. Add half of roasted peppers and chipotle peppers. Process until peppers are finely chopped, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Add 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons drained yogurt (reserve remaining yogurt for another use), mayonnaise and herbes de Provence. Process to blend. Add remaining peppers. Use on/off turns until peppers are coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Chill at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day to blend flavors.

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