At this point in the summer, many of us are feeling downright brutalized by the heat--I sure am! But I'm also a believer in finding everyday luxury in less than ideal circumstances (or temperatures, as the case may be). My most recent version was inspired by my mother's recent trip to the Umbrian region of Italy where she enjoyed a variety of delicious foods and wine--though with a tolerance as delicate as mine, her feasts were more pesto than pinot. This no-stress appetizer substitutes classic vegan cashew cream for a heavy white cheese spread and home-toasted tortilla triangles for pastry dough. The end result ended up being a bit more Spanish countryside than Italian villa, thanks to the smoked paprika, but either way, these appetizers are a like a little European escape for the taste buds. They are perfect for impromptu gatherings and toasty evenings when you'd rather graze than have a traditional sit-down meal. These simple artichoke appetizers are also a great excuse to break out the bottle of white wine you've been chilling in the fridge. Enjoy!
Easy Vegan Smoky Artichoke Appetizers with Toasted Tortilla Chips
Recipe Type: Appetizers
YIELDS 4 servings
- 1 cup cashews
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 small tortillas (fajita grande)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 8 artichoke hearts
- smoked paprika for sprinkling
- dash garlic powder
1. In a small bowl, soak cashews in water for 15 minutes. 2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. 3. Brush tortillas with olive oil. Slice tortillas into fourths, sixths, or eighths depending on your preference. (Photos of finished appetizers feature eighths.) Lightly oil a cooking sheet, and arrange the tortilla slices. Sprinkle with salt. 4. When the oven is fully heated, baked the tortilla triangles for 8-10 minutes, keeping a close eye on them so they down over-brown. They're ready when they're just beginning to turn golden brown. 5. Drain and rinse the cashews. Place into a high-speed blender with 3/4 cup water, white wine vinegar, and a dash of garlic powder. Blend until smooth. (There may be leftovers--but this stuff goes great on just about anything!) 6. Chop the artichoke hearts into small pieces while leaving some larger chunks. (The smaller bits adhere well to the sauce while the larger pieces provide a nice texture.) 7. When the tortilla chips are done cooking, spoon on a bit of cashew cream. Top with artichoke pieces and then dust with smoked paprika. Alternatively, you can mix a bit of the cream and artichoke pieces for a more coherent mixture. Serve and enjoy!
Related: Gluten-Free Mini Vegan Pizza Pockets With Spinach & Almond Cheese
“Ricotta” Stuffed Cremini Mushrooms Tapas
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Photos: Mary Hood Luttrell & Sue Hood