Contributed in 1971 by a Sunset reader, these squares of artichoke-flecked cheese custard hold a special place in consulting editor Judith Stone's family. When her niece was about to get married, her sister-in-law included the recipe in a memory book for the bride with a note: "[This is] my all-time favorite recipe, one I turned to after a long, grim period of collegiate cookery…May you have many happy, healthy years of experimental nibbling--on this frittata, and on each other."
2 jars (6 oz. each) marinated artichoke hearts*
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4 large eggs
1/4 cup fine dried bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon each pepper and dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons minced parsley
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350° and put a 10-in. cast-iron skillet* into oven to heat.
Drain marinade from 1 jar of artichokes into a frying pan. Drain remaining artichokes; reserve marinade for other uses. Chop all artichokes.
Heat marinade in frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
Whisk eggs in a bowl to blend. Stir in bread crumbs, pepper, oregano, and hot sauce. Stir in cheese, parsley, artichokes, and onion mixture.
Remove skillet from oven. Protecting your hands, wipe it quickly with an oiled paper towel. Pour in custard and bake, uncovered, until custard feels set when lightly touched, about 30 minutes. Let sit at least 15 minutes before cutting into 1-in. squares.
*Use artichokes in an oily marinade; we like Cara Mia brand. Using a skillet (our update on the original baking pan) gives the nibbles a golden crust.
Make ahead: Up to 1 day, chilled. Reheat, uncovered, 12 minutes at 325°.
Took these to a party the other night and the general consensus was - good but not worth of being named as one of the "best recipes of all time" in a recent issue of Sunset magazine. I have many other appetizer recipes that are more worthy of those accolades than this one.
Everybody loved these. I followed the recipe and wouldn't change a thing. I did them a day in advance, took them out of the skillet and kept a baking pan. Reheated as recommended. We liked these just barely warm or at room temp, not chilled. Will do again.