Fillet of Beef Crostini with Artichokes & Spinach

Ooooooh, I’ve got one for you today.  A pull-out-the-stops, knock-‘em-dead appetizer.  Fancy enough for a fabulous soiree and hearty at the same time.  An hors d’ oeuvre that will establish your street cred as a total rock star in the kitchen, and elicit marriage proposals from whomever you serve it to.

I’m kidding!  It’s the Holidays, friends.  Let’s none of us be out wrecking homes over a hunka’ beef tenderloin.

This is probably THE BEST appetizer I made in 2010.  You’re going to say to yourself (or maybe outloud), “Is she daft?Beef tenderloin isn’t FRUGAL!”.  And you’d be correct.  It’s definitely a special occasion type of treat – like for the Holidays, or when your granddaddy gets out of jail early for good behavior.  Not that I’d know from experience, ahem.

I’m gonna get in trouble with my momma for saying that.  It’s a funny story, really – I’ll tell you about it sometime.

Anyway, here you go!  Hope you like it.  Merry, merry!

Yields 36 Pieces

a 2 ½ lb. trimmed fillet of beef, tied (Sendik’s Brand is on sale)
2  6-oz. jars marinated artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained (Reese Brand are on sale)
1 garlic clove, peeled
¼ c. white wine vinegar
½ c. olive oil

36 ½”-thick diagonal slices of Italian bread, toasted or grilled lightly

2 bunches of arugula or spinach, coarse stems discarded and leaves cut into shreds
36 Parmesan curls formed with a vegetable peeler

Preheat oven to 500.  Pat the fillet dry, season it with salt and pepper, and place it in a small roasting pan.  Roast the beef in the middle of the oven for 23 minutes, or until it registers 125 degrees on a meat thermometer (for rare).  Transfer the fillet to a cutting board and let it cool.  The fillet may be roasted 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled.

In a blender, puree the artichoke hearts and the garlic with the vinegar, the oil, and salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer the puree to a bowl and set aside.  The puree may be made 3 days in advance and kept covered and chilled.

Spread each slice of toast with some of the artichoke puree, top the puree with some of the arugula or spinach, then divide the fillet, sliced very thin, among the crostini.  Top the crostini with the Parmesan curls.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | December 15th, 2010