Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Stuffed Artichokes

Part of what I really love about cooking is the constant desire to know more about it. There's nothing I love more than reading through cookbooks and jotting down recipe ideas and flavor combinations. I guess that makes me a food dork, but I don't care.

One of my favorite things to do is to randomly pick out something at the grocery store that I either have no idea what it is or have never prepared it before in my life. And that's where these artichokes came in. Although I've had them a few times, I've never actually prepared them. And not only have I never prepared them, but I actually had no idea what to do with them. But that didn't scare me. I immediately threw 2 in my bag and vowed to hit up both Google and my go-to cookbook when I got home. (Seriously, if you do not have either Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" or "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian," then you must get thee straight to your bookstore).

Anyway, I came home, threw these on the counter and stared at them for a bit before I tackled them. First off, watch this video. It will absolutely give you the tools you need to prepare them. Secondly, I caution you - artichokes are dangerous little things and have sharp little spiky points, so use caution when preparing them. And finally, I won't lie when I say these are sort of a high-maintenance vegetable to prepare. You peel, core, and prepare them, and then it's 25 minutes in the steamer, followed by 20 minutes in a hot oven. The good part, though, is that most of this time is non-active time, so it's not like you're slaving over a hot stove endlessly.

For the stuffing, I used panko, but only because I love the light flaky texture of it. You can easily substitute regular bread crumbs. I also used fresh thyme, but only because I had it on hand. Feel free to use whatever fresh herb floats your boat. I also used a truffle olive oil, but only because I could.

No matter how you make these, I can guarantee they will be surprisingly delicious and well worth the prep time.

Food 007

Stuffed Artichokes
Serves 2

2 large artichokes
1/2 c Italian Seasoned panko crumbs
1/4 c freshly shaved Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp olive oil

Destem, de-choke, and remove the tough outer leaves from the artichokes. (the video is very helpful for this). Bring a steamer with water to a boil. Add artichokes, bottoms up, to steamer and steam for 20 minutes. While they are steaming, combine remaining ingredients in bowl. Remove artichokes from steamer and place bottom down in a baking dish. Preheat oven to 375. Drizzle artichokes with a small amount of olive oil. Place spoonfulls of stuffing mix in center, as well as packed in between the leaves. Place into oven and bake for 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy.


Katelyn said...

I have been wanting to make stuffed artichokes for a while. These look fantastic. I'll have to try to make these soon!

Joanne said...

There was a time not too long ago, when I dislike artichokes. Now, I can eat a whole whack of them in one sitting. This one sounds really yummy!

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Fiber said...

Katelyn - give it a try. They are delicious!

Bijoux - to be honest, I've already made these twice in 2 days. I'm slightly obsessed, but they are so delicious!

Anonymous said...

Yes! I just did a post about how addicting food books can become.

Anonymous said...

Yummmmm..... I LOVE artichokes! But they don't have to be high maintenance. I cut the top inch or so off, cut off the stem, cut them in half and use a spoon to scoop out the spiky/hairy stuff in the middle. Then just drop in a bowl, cover with saran wrap and microwave them for 5-8 minutes. Done! Of course, you can also boil them, or finish them off by sauteeing cut side down in a hot skillet with olive oil and garlic, then squirting with lemon and some sea salt.... ok, the possibilities are endless. But don't reserve them for times that you have oodles of cooking time-- they're a great quick lunch too!

But now I have to go try your version.....

Heather said...

Stuffed artichokes were one of my grandmother's Sicilian recipes that was handed down to me. I didn't watch the video, but if they don't mention it, after you cut the top, bang it on a cutting board to loosen the leaves a bit so you can stuff them more. Also the way I make the stuffing, use all these ingredients, but add chopped garlic and lots of pepper.

This is one of my springtime favorites when the price of artichokes is low.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE artichokes but they're a pain to prepare. But frozen artichoke hearts just aren't the same as making your own and eating them leaf by leaf :] I love them best just steamed with some lemon!!!