Stuffed Artichokes ♥ Recipe

Today's recipe: Fresh artichokes stuffed with a simple bread-crumb mixture, then baked.

Until now, anyone searching A Veggie Venture for artichoke recipes might well come away disappointed. In three years, I've collected only four recipes -- not one calling for fresh artichokes. Nil. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

I just didn't 'get' artichokes. They were eeeh, okay, hardly worth the fuss. "Here, just eat the heart," I heard time after time. Eh.

I did buy artichokes, half-writing posts in my head right there in the produce department. Two years in a row, their spiked leaves dried to nothing in the fridge. This year, they languished a good week before I forced myself to do something -- anything -- with them. Suddenly, one warmish spring evening, I was inspired to pull out the weapons that anyone veggie averse should have at hand, bacon and cheese.

And oh glory, I get it, I finally get it. And yes, artichokes are a tad fussy (especially stuffed) but way easier to trim and prep than all those prickly leaves and complicated diagrams lead you to expect. Call me glad it's early in artichoke season: you see, I've got some catching up to do.

SO ONCE THEY'RE STUFFED AND BAKED, HOW DO YOU EAT ARTICHOKES? With your fingers! I served these in big bowls, ones large enough for leftover leaves. Starting from the outside, pull off a leaf and scrape the fleshy part at the leaf's bottom between your teeth, discard the rest. After all the leaves are gone, you'll find the artichoke heart at the bottom, a cylinder of meaty flesh. Depending on the size of the artichoke, the heart will be just a couple of bites big but it's worth saving for last and savoring. If someone offers their heart, say yes!

STUFFED ARTICHOKES

Hands-on time: 25 minutes for 2
Time to table: 90 minutes
Serves as many as needed

STUFFING, per artichoke
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup onion, chopped small
1/2 ounce pancetta, chopped (optional, not used in the inspiring recipe)
2 cloves garlic, slivered
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (the inspiring recipe called for fresh)
1/4 teaspoon dried ground fennel
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tablespoon capers (I was out, didn't use these, think the saltiness would be excellent)
Salt & pepper

Lemon
Vegetable/chicken broth
White wine (the inspiring recipe uses this too, I used only broth)

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil til shimmery. Add the onion, pancetta and garlic and cook til just soft. Stir in the thyme, fennel and bread crumbs and cook, stirring often, til bread crumbs begin to brown. Stir in Parmesan and capers. Season to taste.

While cooking the filling, prep the artichokes. Rinse the artichoke. Pull off the outer layer of leaves. Slice off the stem (these need to be able to sit flat.) Slice off the artichoke's tip, about 1 inch deep. With scissors, snip off the tips of the outer leaves, they're sharp!) Rub the cut edges with lemon (this is to prevent browning.) With your fingers, reach into the artichoke's center, spreading the leaves. Pull out the interior center leaves to expose the prickly choke. With a serrated grapefruit spoon or melon baller, scoop out the choke and discard. If prepping ahead, drop artichokes into lemon water before proceeding. (See Simply Recipes for a great photo tutorial on prepping artichokes. The one difference is that for this recipe, we're going to remove the choke before cooking.)

Filling the artichokes: With a small spoon, stuff a tablespoon of filling into the center. Then, working from the outside in, put a half teaspoon of filling between each layer of leaves. This is a little fussy but not hard. I actually started at the second layer of leaves, so none of the filling would fall out between the outside leaves.

Place the artichokes upright in a baking dish. Pour the broth and/or wine into the bottom, about an inch or so high. Cover with foil and bake for an hour. Enjoy!!



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MORE VEGETABLE INSPIRATION & RECIPES
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~ more stuffed vegetables ~





Eat more vegetables! A Veggie Venture is the home of Veggie Evangelist Alanna Kellogg and is the award-winning source of free vegetable recipes, quick, easy, and yes, delicious. Start with the Alphabet of Vegetables or dive into all the Weight Watchers vegetable recipes or all the low carb vegetable recipes. © Copyright 2008


18 comments:

This looks wonderful. Have to send this one to Sue.

I use to get these at a tapas bar and loved them. Memories are flooding back. These will be on this weeks menu!

perfect timing! I just got a notice that we've got artichokes in our delivered organic veg box this week, and I've never cooked them before. And seeing as how these contain pancetta, even my boy won't complain about a veggie as the main! ;)

I totally understand artichoke apathy, there is something off-putting about fussy vegetables. But...I just discoverd microwaving Artichokes. It took 18 min for 4 artichokes ( I used pyrex loaf pans covered with plastic wrap). SO Easy, and no mess at all. And we all loved them. Wonder if microwaving would work on the stuffed version. Thanks for the great stuffing idea. May have to buy some more artichokes!

This looks very good, although they are fussy vegetables, I've been eating them since I could remember (we had a neighbor who grew them when i was young)
I will have to try them stuffed!

Oh yum, I love artichokes. I'm glad you have become a convert. My mom used to make them with just a simple dipping sauce of mayo, lemon juice and a bit of milk.

Artichokes are great for cleansing the liver...I guess that cancels out the bacon in this recipe LOL

One thing I love about eating whole artichokes, stuffed or not, is that the act of eating them leaf by leaf makes you feel that you've eaten much more than you actually have.

I love artichokes prepared this way! My grandmother used to make them all the time. She also added a little spicy Italian sausage to the mix as well. Delicious!

I guess it's that time of year! I just bought three gorgeous artichokes at my favorite market and cooked them this week. They are elegant when trimmed and stuffed but I must confess that I usually take a more, well, rustic approach. I don't even trim the leaves! I just cut off the stem, wash and cook them. I serve them with dip and a large bowl for discarding leaves.

My gosh that looks delicious! And oddly enough, I think I feel brave enough to try making it myself over the weekend. I tend to shy away from fresh artichokes myself just from the sheer feeling of overwhelmed in trying to prepare it.

I recently discovered my love of artichokes so this looks fantastic to me! Thanks!

Back again... We made these as a light supper last night and they were GORGEOUS! It was really fun to play with our food for a change, and the boy wants to reuse the filling in stuffed mushrooms sometime, too. Now we're hoping for more artichokes in our box! thanks...

Aii, Melissa, thank you so much for coming back to report the results. You've made my week and it's only Monday! Thank you, thank you.

Hey Alanna, just wanted to say that I made these tonight with some artichokes we picked up at the corner shop (the guy gave 'em to me for $.20 each!). We didn't have pancetta, and I used some amazing goat feta instead of the parmesan. It was amazing. Amazing!

I love stuffed artichokes! I make them with regular seasoned bread crumbs, fresh chopped parsley, fresh grated garlic, fresh grated parmesean, some olive oil, and ground pepper and salt. Mix together and sprinkle liberally into cooked & trimmed choke. Bake until lightly brown & toasty - let cool. Great at room temp or cold the next day. Enjoy! I think I need to make them - but not in season now :(

A little labor intensive (digging out the choke) but well worth it. Delicious!

Alanna I used this recipe last night and blogged about it mentioning this blog, here is the link if you would like to read it. Thank you some much for the help you gave me.......http://joeyk-chachijoan.blogspot.com/2012/06/what-was-new-at-dinner-06102012.html

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna