You can make this spinach mix, stuff the baguette and simply bake and slice when ready to eat. Spinach and cheese with crunchy pecans and meaty walnuts are a great combination, and artichokes with spinach is such a classic. The walnuts add meaty richness and also bring out the natural sweetness of the vegetables in the filling. The pecans finish with a toasty crunch!
1 French style baguette, 1 pound in weight
1 can (12-14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the walnuts.
Prepare the bread: Cut the top quarter of the baguette lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the insides of the baguette. It will look like an open tube with walls that are about 1/4-inch thick.
Make the filling: Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the artichokes. Cook 2-3 minutes to remove any excess water. Stir in spinach and all but the 2 tablespoons of reserved walnuts, reduce heat and cook until all excess water is gone, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the cream cheese, mozzarella, salt to taste and the ground red pepper. Let sit with the heat off so the cheese melts. Cool 5 minutes. Stir in the pecans.
Stuff the baguette: Fill the bread tube with the spinach and artichoke mix. Place the tube onto a sheet of aluminum foil so that the cut edge is on top. Loosely wrap the loaf with the foil. Place the bread in the oven and bake, 12-15 minutes. Carefully open the foil to crisp the bread. Cook 5 minutes more. Transfer to a cutting board and sprinkle with the reserved walnuts. Cut into slices using a serrated knife. Transfer slices to large serving platter and serve while warm.