Giada packs flavor into stuffed artichokes, chicken, more

Giada De Laurentiis turns up the flavor with savory lemon-cumin chicken and garlic-packed stuffed artichokes. To wash it down: A sweet (but not too sweet!) lavender and vanilla lemonade.

Lemon-cumin chicken
Servings:

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • Marinade

    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 large lemon, zested
    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 4 (4- to 6-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Pesto

    • 1 1/2 packed cups (about 1 large bunch) fresh mint leaves
    • 1 packed cup baby spinach leaves
    • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
    • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
    • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • Vegetable oil cooking spray

Preparation

Baking Directions:

For the marinade: In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper flakes until smooth. Add the chicken and toss until coated with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. (Can also be made in a re-sealable plastic bag.)For the pesto:In a food processor, blend the mint, spinach, cheese, walnuts, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper until chunky.  With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil until smooth.Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Spray the grill lightly with vegetable oil cooking spray.Remove the chicken from the marinade. Discard the marinade. Grill the chicken for 4 to 5 minutes on each side until cooked through. Place on a platter and serve with the pesto.To toast the walnuts, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 5 to 8 minutes until lightly toasted. Cool completely before using.

Stuffed Artichokes
Servings:

Makes 10 to 12 servings

Ingredients

    • 2 lemons, halved
    • 3 whole garlic cloves, smashed
    • 6 large artichokes
    • 1 lemon, juiced
    • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
    • 4 tablespoons drained capers
    • 6 ounces Italian bread, crust trimmed, bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    • 2 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 12 fresh Italian parsley sprigs for garnish

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Squeeze the juice from the lemon halves into a large pot of cold water; add the squeezed lemon halves and the whole garlic. Cut off the top quarter of each artichoke and discard. Use a small sharp knife to trim the stem of the artichokes. Starting at the base, bend the tough outer leaves back and snap off where they break naturally, leaving the tender inner leaves. Trim the outside of the base until no dark green areas remain. Cut the artichokes in half and then into quarters. Cut out the fibrous choke and small purple-tipped leaves. Submerge the artichoke quarters in the lemon water. Cover and boil until the artichokes are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain. Set the artichoke quarters aside to cool to room temperature.Mix together lemon juice, herbs, garlic, lemon peel, capers, bread, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.Arrange artichokes, cut side up, on 2 platters. Spoon the tomato mixture into the center of the artichoke quarters, dividing equally. Drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with the parsley sprigs and serve.

Lavender and vanilla lemonade
Servings:

Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • Simple syrup

    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed
    • 12 fresh lavender flowers with 3-inch stalks attached or 2 tablespoons dried lavender
  • Lemonade

    • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (from 4 large lemons)
    • 3 cups water, plus extra, to taste
    • Fresh lavender sprigs for garnish

Preparation

Baking Directions:

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, vanilla bean seeds, empty vanilla bean pods and lavender over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool, about 20 minutes. Strain before using.Stir the simple syrup, lemon juice and water together in a pitcher. Chill for at least 2 hours until ready to serve. Pour into glasses and garnish with fresh lavender sprigs.

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