Aired September 28, 2012
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 cup chopped artichoke hearts
3 cups tightly packed baby spinach
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (approx. 5-6 scrapes of fresh nutmeg on a rasp)
2 demi baguettes*
1/2 cup crumbled tomato-and-basil flavored feta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a dry saut pan over medium heat, add walnuts. Toss in the hot pan until they begin to smell like walnuts. They should be soft, warm and a bit chewy. Remove to a large bowl to cool.
In the same pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil beings to swirl a bit, add the artichokes, spinach, chili powder and nutmeg. Toss, using tongs, until spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Add to bowl with walnuts and allow to cool.
With a serrated knife, cut about 2 inches off one tip of each baguette; reserve the trimmed ends. Using the knife, hollow out the inside of each baguette leaving just an 1/8 inch of bread around the edges. Be careful to not puncture the outside of the bread from the inside while hollowing each baguette. Save the scooped-out bread for breadcrumbs.
To the bowl with the veggies and nuts, add the feta and Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine. Give a taste -- everything should be seasoned and salty enough courtesy of the cheese.
Use a spoon to fill each baguette with the filling. Use the handle of a wooden spoon or something similar to pack the stuffing in tight. When done with each, invert the reserved trimmed end of each baguette into the open end of each baguette to create a seal. Tightly wrap each in aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and raise the temperature to 400F. Open the aluminum foil and brush both with remaining infused oil. Return to the oven uncovered and cook until golden, about 5-8 minutes more.
Allow baguettes to cool slightly and, using a serrated knife, cut 1-inch slices along the length of each baguette. If transporting the baguettes to a party, slice and keep them in the form of a baguette, then wrap them back up in the same aluminum foil. These are great cold or room temperature -- feel free to slice, cool completely then re-wrap and refrigerate.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
*If using regulation-sized baguettes instead of demi baguettes, cut them in half or thirds to make it easy to hollow out. Leave ends in tact and in the absence of trimmed-ends to plug the fillings, just tightly wrap each baguette section. Also, whether using demi or regulation-sized baguettes, pick out ones that are more rounded than flat, ahhhthe easier to stuff you with.