Artichokes. Courtesy of Magpie/Flickr
Spring is the time when the world wakes up and comes back to life. From theFoodList view, it is a time of fantastic fresh vegetables. Two of our favorite come out early in the season, Artichokes and Asparagus. Here is one of our favorite classic Italian dishes using several fresh and seasonal vegetables:

Serves 4-6


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 Yellow onion, thinly sliced 
1 heaping tablespoon chopped pancetta or bacon 
6 large fresh artichoke bottoms, pre-cooked (canned or jarred) chopped
2 1/2 cups chicken broth or canned low-sodium chicken broth 
1 1/2 cups cubed day-old bread (hard and crusty the better), cubed 
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves 
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved for garnish 
1 pint cherry tomatoes 
8 oz Jumbo lump crab meat

Place a large stock pot or sauce pan over medium heat, and when hot, add oil. Add garlic, onion and pancetta, stirring well after each addition, and cook until translucent. Add artichokes and cook for 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, increase heat to medium-high, bring to low boil and cook until artichokes are soft for 5-7 minutes. Add bread cubes. Cook for 2 minutes.

Toss cherry tomatoes with olive oil, lightly salt and pepper, and place on sheet pan and roast in oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until charred. Remove and let cool to room temperature Lightly toss into the crab meat with a tablespoon of olive oil.

Serve at room temp in small bowls. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese.

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