Lemon Spaghetti with Artichokes and Bread Crumbs headlines an easy summer meal. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

Trust me, this lemon/artichoke/bread crumb combo will make your taste buds sing. You can make this main dish with what you have readily available in your pantry and fridge. (Oh, you don’t usually have artichokes in the kitchen? Well, start now; they come in handy.) The frozen artichokes tastes and looks best, but if you can’t find them, high-quality canned ones will do.

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundy’s Harbor. You can reach her at iwrite33@comcast.net.

If you’d like to add more of something to this simple pasta dish, I won’t stop you, even though I think it’s heavenly on its own. Sautéed mushrooms can add a little more substance if you’re feeding hearty eaters, and seafood works well, too. Just don’t forget those bread crumbs, whatever you do.

You may want to consider making extra crumbs because these crunchy bits are good on everything from fried eggs to steamed vegetables to ice cream. It’s OK if you think I’m crazy. Just make a bunch and store them in a glass jar. They’ll become your favorite condiment.

Perhaps you’ll try sprinkling some of those tidbits on this fresh, crunchy pea salad. Oh, you’ve just gotta love this time of year when everything is so lively, colorful and fresh!

I hope you’ve scooped up some of those local strawberries; you will surely want to try this scone (biscuit?) recipe. Call them whatever you want – they are drop-dead delicious.

Really ripe berries work best. Worry not if your dough is a little damp when you’re shaping them. As they bake, the berries will burst out of their batter boundary and run around a bit, making for a sticky, jammy treat. You can even make these ahead, freeze them right on the baking sheet, then bake them in their frozen state, adding a few extra minutes to their time in the oven. These scones are so wondrous that I may eat one every day for the next couple of weeks.


Lemon Spaghetti with Artichokes and Bread Crumbs

Bread Crumbs

4 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup bread crumbs
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Buzz a couple slices of stale bread in a food processor to make crumbs. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the crumbs and toast, stirring frequently, until golden. Add a pinch each of salt and pepper and remove from heat to cool.


Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook 16 ounces spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.



2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
16 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Zest of 2 lemons
1 cup Parmesan, grated

In the same pan used for the bread crumbs, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, red pepper flakes and artichokes, sautéing until golden. Add wine, salt and pepper, and continue cooking until artichokes are tender.

Add pasta to the skillet and toss to combine. Add lemon zest and Parmesan. Top with bread crumbs just before serving. Yield: 4 servings

Pea Salad

1 cup fresh sugar snap peas
1/2 cup fresh snow pea pods
1/2 cup fresh peas
6 cups pea shoots

Cook sugar snap peas in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Add pea pods and peas and cook for 1 more minute. Drain, rinse and immerse in cold water. Drain again and allow to dry in the refrigerator. Toss with pea shoots and your favorite vinaigrette. Yield: 4 servings

Strawberry & Cream Scones

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons frozen butter
1 cup very ripe strawberries, chopped


1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients together. Add butter by grating it in on the large holes of a box grater and stir in with a fork until the mixture resembles a crumbly meal with pea-sized bits of butter.

Gently stir in berries so they are coated in dry ingredients. Stir in heavy cream with a rubber spatula and gently knead mixture once or twice in the bowl to create a ball. Do not overmix.

Transfer dough to a floured surface and, using your hands, gently press the dough out to a 3/4-inch thickness. Cut into 2 1/2-inch circles with a floured biscuit cutter. Carefully transfer scones to prepared baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until bronzed at the edges and strawberry juices are trickling out of the biscuits in places. Cool on pan for a minute then transfer to a cooling rack. Yield: About a dozen

This column was corrected at 1:47 p.m. June 27 to add 1 cup of heavy cream to the recipe for Strawberry & Cream Scones.

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