Last week there was a column in the newspaper highlighting some of the writer’s recent finds at local farmer’s markets, and she mentioned this artichoke bread that I subsequently have not been able to get out of my mind. There was no recipe, just the merest hint that the bread itself had a biscuit-like quality and there was cheese involved. I would gladly have hunted down this bread, except that said farmer’s market was like over an hour from here and frankly, I think I’d rather spend those couple of hours in the kitchen than in the car.
So, people, here’s what I did. I took a recipe that I had in my files (I had been meaning to make this bread anyway) for a buttermilk quick bread (I think it was originally from Cooking Light magazine) and I threw in chopped artichoke hearts, grated asiago cheese and sliced green olives.
I have no idea what that farmer’s market bread tasted like, but boy howdy, was this stuff ever amazing! I sliced it up and served it with a glass of wine at happy hour and completely lost my interest in dinner. Artichoke bread would do just fine, thank you.
If you’re not an olive person, you could leave them out, but I loved the salty, brine-y kick they added. The asiago cheese was incredible, but you could probably swap it out for cheddar if you can’t find it. But if you’re not crazy about artichokes, I suggest you just move on and don’t bother with this one, because without the artichokes, there is no party here. Really. Here’s the recipe…
Artichoke Biscuit Bread with Asiago Cheese and Olives
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cup buttermilk
¼ cup butter, melted
2 cups frozen or canned artichoke hearts, quartered
1 ½ cups grated asiago cheese
1 cup green manzanilla olives, halved
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan
Set aside ¼ cup of the quartered artichoke hearts and ¼ cup of the grated asiago cheese
Combine the flour, baking powder, parmesan cheese, salt and baking soda. Mix well. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg, buttermilk and melted butter. Add to the dry ingredients along with the olives, 1 ¼ cups of the asiago cheese and 1 3/4 cups of the artichoke hearts. Mix until just combined (the batter will be a little stiff) and spread in the prepared loaf pan. Top with the remaining ¼ cup of cheese and artichoke hearts.
Bake for 65 to 70 minutes (it took the full 70 minutes the last time I made this). You might have to tent the loaf with foil for the last 5 or 10 minutes of baking if it’s getting too brown. Test for doneness if a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then turn out on a wire rack. When cool, slice and serve as an accompaniment to salads, soups or with a glass of wine. To store, wrap in foil and refrigerate. Will keep for several days.