I know ... I know ... I say this all the time, but this right here is truly one of my favorite foods. I do not know what my life would be like without stuffed artichokes.
Every time I am eating artichokes with my mom she has to tell the story of how the first recipe I called her and asked her for in college was stuffed artichokes.
Why is it that even with the exact same recipe, we can never make it as good or as comforting as when our moms make it. I'll never figure that out.
I try though. I really do. And, hopefully someday I'll have a kid who will call me up from college looking to recreate the stuffed artichoke the same way I made it for them growing up.
In case you haven't guessed it from the mounds of big, healthy looking artichokes in the grocery stores, this is the beginning of artichoke season. I just cannot get enough.
Although they can be a bit time consuming to prepare, you can make them ahead of time and enjoy them all week long. For lunch, for dinner, for breakfast, for a mid-day snack. I like to get my artichoke fix on so that I'm set until next season.
I still love my mom's the best (who doesn't), and the thing I love most about her artichokes is that the recipe has not changed one bit since she started making them for me.
My recipe, which is derrived from hers, has evolved ever so slightly. While I used to only boil them and keep the core in tact, I now remove the center core so that I'm able to stuff and season the best part of the artichoke, the heart - of course, and finish them in the oven.
3 globe artichokes, with stems attached
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large shallot, finely chopped
for the stuffing:
1 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon of onion powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 lemon, zest and juice
Start by cleaning, trimming, and preparing your artichokes:
- To prepare the artichokes, remove the long stems and reserve (for the stuffing), and then remove about an inch off the top and discard.
- Then, using scissors, go around the artichoke cut off the prickly tops of the leaves.
- Rinse the artichokes thoroughly.
Then steam the artichoke:
- In a heavy soup pot, fill the pot with about 1-2 inches of water being careful now to drown your artichoke in too much water.
- Add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the water.
- Then place the artichokes in the pot and drizzle a little more olive oil over the tops.
- Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, cover, and let the artichokes steam for approximately 40 minutes (could be a little more or a little less depending on the size of the artichokes). Make sure you check in on them every 10 minutes or so to see if more water needs to be added to the pot.
- You will know when they are done when the leaves pull off easily.
While your artichokes are steaming, sauté the stems and prepare the stuffing:
- Peel the outermost layer of the stems, and then chop them into a small dice.
- In a cast iron pan over medium heat, add a little oil and add in the shallots and garlic and cook them for about two minutes. Then add in the diced stem.
- Sauté the stems, shallots, and garlic for about 10-15 minutes, until the stems are nice and tender.
- While they are cooking, prepare the breadcrumb mixture. In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the stuffing.
- When the stems are done cooking, add them to the breadcrumb mixture. Stir until everything is well combined.
Remove the core, and stuff and bake the artichokes:
- Pre-heat the oven to 350º
- When the artichokes are done steaming, carefully remove them from the pot and place them onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Allow them to cool for about 5-10 minutes.
- Once they are cool enough to handle, remove the core. To do so, start by pulling out the center leaves (the ones that are yellow and prickly). Once you've removed all of the yellow leaves, take a spoon and scoop out the "hairy" center, revealing the heart of the artichoke. Once all of the hairs are completely removed and the heart of the artichoke is exposed, you are ready to stuff the artichoke.
- Take the stem and breadcrumb stuffing and stuff the large center cavity. Then, continue to spoon and sprinkle the mixture into the outer leaves, making sure you get some of the stuffing into each layer.
- Once your artichokes have been stuffed, drizzle a little more olive oil over the tops and place them in the oven. Cook for about 10 minutes (until the tops have browned).
- Remove and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm, or keep them in the fridge for up to a week and reheat when you're ready to eat them.