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Chef Paul Mattison’s Signature Appetizer

(From Chef! – The Stories and Recipes of Chef Paul Mattison)

My grandmother, Esther, never believed in throwing anything away. Once the artichoke hearts were dipped in the egg wash and cooked in olive oil, she would scramble the leftover egg wash in the same skillet, creating slightly green eggs. The two served together was truly Esther-Style.

Artichokes Esther-Style
12 artichoke hearts
½ cup flour
3 eggs
1 Tbsp water
½ cup flour
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup olive oil

Halve, rinse and drain artichoke hearts. Dredge in flour then dip in an egg wash made by whisking the eggs with the water. Combine the remaining flour with the Parmesan cheese and dredge the artichoke hearts again, shaking off excess coating. Pour oil into a large skillet and preheat to medium-high. Add artichokes, cut side down first, and pan fry for 2 minutes. Turn and cook for 2 more minutes until golden brown. Serve with Piccata Sauce and garnish with chopped basil and grated Parmesan cheese.

Piccata Sauce Esther-Style
1½ Tbsp olive oil
4 tsp finely diced shallots
2 Tbsp capers
2 tsp chopped garlic
1 cup white wine
4 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp seeded, diced tomatoes
10 chiffonade medium basil leaves
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat olive oil in a sauté pan to medium-low. Add shallots and cook 2 to 3 minutes until soft. Add capers and garlic and cook for one minute. Add wine, increase heat to high and reduce by half. Reduce heat and add butter. Once melted, add tomatoes, basil, cheese and lemon juice. Season to taste.

Chef Paul Mattison, Executive Chef and Proprietor of Mattison’s
®Chef Paul Mattison, 2014