Time-Saving Ingredient: Marinated Artichoke Hearts

Martha Stewart Living
By Hannah Hayes

We're highlighting our favorite grocery store go-tos; the convenience foods that add a little something extra to lots of different recipes.

This recipe for Baked Polenta with Sausage and Artichoke Hearts uses marinated artichoke hearts, a prep-free supermarket score that adds zesty flavor to everything from pasta dinners to quick lunches. Plus we have some creative uses for the leftover marinade -- talk about bonus bang for your buck! Read on for our test kitchen's advice for buying and using marinated artichoke hearts.

How to choose your 'chokes
You can typically find whole, quartered, or long-stemmed marinated artichoke hearts near the pickles or in the deli section in your local grocery store. Look for ones that are marinated in a mixture of oil, vinegar, and seasonings -- the marinade can be a useful ingredient in it's own right. If a recipe calls for larger sections of artichokes you'll want to whole or long-stemmed, but if the artichokes are cut into smaller pieces, go with quartered.

Quick ideas for marinated artichoke hearts
▪ Toss on pizza or stuff into a calzone
▪ Dice and stir into egg or tuna salad
▪ Toss with cherry tomatoes, linguine, and grated Parmesan
▪ Chop and stuff inside a pita with goat cheese and arugula
▪ Puree the hearts with a bit of marinade and white beans for a healthy dip
▪ Brush the marinade on pita bread, cut into wedges, and toast to make chips

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