About 14 ounces frozen artichokes, thawed; or 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts packed in water, dried well and cut into bite-size pieces

1/4 cup minced roasted red peppers, well drained and patted dry if bottled (in water, not oil)

1/3 cup dry white wine (try sauvignon blanc)

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese


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1/2 cup plain bread crumbs

About 1/4 cup olive oil

Additional oil, for baking sheet

Small toasted croustades and/or favorite whole wheat crackers, for serving

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl, combine wine, artichokes and red peppers. Toss gently. Stir in cheese and bread crumbs. Place oil in shallow dish.

Lightly oil a baking sheet. Form generous teaspoons of the artichoke mixture into small balls. Dip each in oil, then place on cookie sheets about 1 half inch apart. Flatten slightly with a finger. You want to end up with 32 "bites" or at least multiples of 8 (for 8 guests).

Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Serve immediately with croustade and/or crackers. Makes about 32, or 4 per person.

Grilled saffron salmon

Couldn't be simpler, but the fragrance and flavor of saffron make this main dish a stand-out.

8 (1-inch thick) salmon steaks (East or West Coast)

Vegetable oil, for brushing

Pepper; and salt, if you must

Fresh parsley sprigs, garnish

Orange-saffron butter

1/2 teaspoon lightly crumbled saffron threads