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Stuffed Artichokes

Bowl of Artichokes

I have never been a big fan of artichokes.  I will admit that they intrigue me, though.  They look cool and weird at the same time.  And they are quite a delicacy in Italy, especially Rome.

I have only had artichokes in their natural form once.  Years ago, at my first boyfriend’s house for a family dinner.  I didn’t know how to eat them and apparently I must have eaten some of the petals and pointy tips and (big surprise) I got sick later that night.

I usually shy away from any food that caused me such awful pain.

Fast forward about 20 years, when we happen to catch Rocco DiSpirito making a delicious looking recipe for stuffed artichokes. I bookmarked that in a small corner of my mind.

This past weekend, the artichokes at our market looked too good to pass up, so we decided that the timing was right.  I’d give artichokes another try.  And Chris was nice enough to make them for us.

Choke


Stuffed Artichokes

Ingredients:

½ cup breadcrumbs
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
5 cloves garlic (2 cloves chopped, 3 cloves smashed)
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons plus ¼ cup Bertolli ® extra-virgin olive oil
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 fresh artichokes
1 sprig fresh thyme
1½ cups dry white wine
1 cup vegetable broth



1. For the filling: In a medium bowl, combine breadcrumbs, cheese, chopped garlic, parsley, oregano, the 2 tablespoons olive oil, and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Cut the stems off of the artichokes and pull off the tough outer leaves. Cut about ½ inch off of the top of each artichoke to create a flat top. Make sure the bottoms are flat so the artichokes can stand up. With your fingers, spread the leaves apart as much as you can, stuffing the breadcrumb mixture between them. Put plenty of the filling on the top of the artichokes.


3. In a Dutch oven, heat the remaining ¼ cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the smashed garlic cloves to the oil and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add thyme, wine, lemon juice, and vegetable broth. Arrange artichokes in pot, cover, and place over medium heat. Simmer until artichokes are tender throughout, about 30 minutes.


Before the Simmer



I must admit, they really looked delicious when they were done, and the broth smelled wonderful.  But, as I started peeling and sucking petal after petal, I just couldn’t help but ask myself why anyone would do this?


Stuffed Artichokes


Considering the amount of time that goes into cleaning, peeling and preparing the ‘chokes and the time it took to make the recipe- it just isn’t worth it in my opinion.


I don’t like to work this hard for my food- especially when that food is almost, uh, non-existant?! There was hardly any meat on those petals!


So while I am glad I conquered my fear of artichokes, I have decided that we won’t be making them again in this house.


We’ll be saving our artichoke consumption for the talented chefs when we dine out, or for those lovely jars of hearts at the market.


Do you make artichokes?  How do you like them?


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