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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?

    • User Gravatar
      Anne
      March 18th, 2009

      I am like you Robin, unsure, but when I see them , I think oh will give them another try..:-) They do look good though, maybe like you say, not worth all that hard work ..!!!
      I cannot work out, why my commenting details don;t stay in the boxes…I have to type them out, everytime I want to leave a comment :-(

    • User Gravatar
      anne-arnott.blogspot.com
      March 18th, 2009

      Test…..

    • User Gravatar
      anne-arnott.blogspot.com
      March 18th, 2009

      this is a test

    • User Gravatar
      My Melange
      March 18th, 2009

      Anne, I am sorry that you are having trouble with the comments :(  Are you *signing in* everytime?
      I think everyone should try them at least once to see if they like them- it is just for me- not my personal preference.  Maybe if I tried them in Italy………
      xo

    • User Gravatar
      Laura at Ciao Amalfi
      March 18th, 2009

      Ciao Robin! I am so happy to have found your site! Mmm… artichokes are easily my favorite food, but preparing them myself has been something I have always shyed away from, too. But they have such divine ways of preparing artichokes here in Campania that I think I might just try my hand at it. There is a artichoke and potato dish I just had that was to die for!! Save the artichokes for when you arrive in Rome. They are indeed wonderful there! Ciao!

    • User Gravatar
      Michele
      March 18th, 2009

      I love artichokes and have been eating them since I am a little girl. You are right though, they are a lot of work but for me they are so worth it. It’s not something I would make on a weeknight but weekends and holidays I love to have them. I make them stuffed, very similar to your recipe. You can see them on my blog, if you like. I also love the heart and use the hearts in a lot of pasta dishes or with chicken. Love them!

    • User Gravatar
      My Melange
      March 18th, 2009

      Hi Laura!  I too am glad that you found me!!  I love the Amalfi coast, like I am sure everyone else does :)  I will take your advice and “save my ‘chokes” for Rome.  I am so sure they can do them more justice than I could ever hope to!
      Stop on by, anytime Laura!
       

    • User Gravatar
      My Melange
      March 18th, 2009

      Michele, I am so glad that you love them as much as you do!  I think I’d like to try the hearts with pasta or chicken!  Just let me know when and where, and I’ll be over with a bottle of good wine!  I’ll pop on over and take a looksee at your recipe..
      xo

    • User Gravatar
      Scintilla
      March 18th, 2009

      If you don’t like the time it takes to prepare them, you can try buying frozen artichoke hearts (the best part) and cooking them on top of a pizza mixed with a little goat cheese and mozzarella then drizzled with olive oil. It easy (if you know how to make the base) and it absolutely delicious!

    • User Gravatar
      My Melange
      March 18th, 2009

      That sounds absolutely fabulous!!!  You are gonna make an artichoke lover outta me yet!!!  I will try to find them frozen and let you know of the outcome.  Thanks so much for the scrumptous tip :)  I can always count on my Italian readers…..
      xo
       

    • User Gravatar
      Anne
      March 18th, 2009

      Hi Robin
      I think it might just be a little glitch…I seem to be ok on quite a few other blogs…Never mind, sure it will sort itself out! :-)
      Don’t worry I will still comment :-)

    • User Gravatar
      Leesie
      March 18th, 2009

      Oooh the stuffed ones look awesome!

    • User Gravatar
      My Melange
      March 18th, 2009

      Thanks Leesie!  They are quite pretty to look at aren’t they?  They remind me of lotus flowers for some reason.  Maybe because they can fan open?
       

    • User Gravatar
      My Melange
      March 18th, 2009

      I sure hope so!  So sorry love :)
       

    • User Gravatar
      Julie
      March 18th, 2009

      I grew up on artichokes! We eat them the French way–steamed in water, a little vinegar and with a bay leaf or too and then you dip the leaves in a simple vinaigrette. My brother and dad both think this is too much work for too little reward (lazy boys), but I like peeling the leaves off to get to the heart. Love ‘em.
      Oh, and I also love stuffed artichokes, but those are a whole lot more work. Your recipe looks yummy. Those photos are also gorgeous.

    • User Gravatar
      My Melange
      March 18th, 2009

      Hey Julie!!  Thanks for weighing in on the *French way* to eat them!!  Though I am with your dad and brother- I can appreciate your love for them :)  The stuffing was really tasty and yes, those artichokes sure are photogenic little buggers!
       

    • User Gravatar
      somepinkflowers
      March 18th, 2009

      uuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm….
      i adore them!
      and
      eat them as an entire meal… :-)
      artichokes steamed in water containing lemon juice
      and some olive oil…
      yes
      then dipped in fresh~made mayonnaise….
      {{ your photos are yummy
      and worth the effort for that alone }}

    • User Gravatar
      My Melange
      March 18th, 2009

      Thanks for the nice words Bonnie. I see I am outnumbered by you artichoke lovers. Look at it this way- if you ever make them for me- you’ll never have to fight me for the last petal :)

    • User Gravatar
      Merisi
      March 19th, 2009

      I looooooooooove artichokes!
      I just returned from a week in Rome where I ate fresh carciofi any which way imaginable: it’s prime season for carciofi and the variety of artichokes is simply incredible. Every recipe calls for another type of artichoke and all you need to do is get down to Campo de’ Fiori and buy them already cleaned and ready to cook, unless you rather make the rounds of your favorite restaurants and eat them there. My alltime favorite in Rome is Carciofo alla Giudia, a fried artichoke that looks like a big blossom and tastes like heaven!
      I shall post about Capo de’ Fiori spring vegatables one of the next days!

    • User Gravatar
      Paula
      March 23rd, 2009

      I adore artichokes! just steamed with a nice garlic sauce..yum.

    • User Gravatar
      My Melange
      March 23rd, 2009

      Hi Paula.  Thanks for popping by to comment.  You should try this recipe if you like artichokes- you won’t be disappointed!
       

    • User Gravatar
      wonderwilm
      March 25th, 2009

      I didnt realise you could get sick eating them. Forgive my ignorance which aprts are you / arent you supposed to eat ?

    • User Gravatar
      My Melange
      March 25th, 2009

      You should avoid the sharp tips of the petals and the petals themselves. At least the outer ones :)

    • User Gravatar
      Gabriella Sannino
      April 8th, 2009

      As an Italian it’s a pleasure to see an American who enjoys our food as much as you do. However I think you are missing the point of making food. At least the way I see it, preparing food for an Italian is part of their daily rituals. We love to sit around talk drink a glass of wine maybe or some espresso while making delicious meals.
      I am not sure if you ever saw Like Water for Chocolate, but I guess I would equate how I view cooking to that movie. It’s a family affair. I love cooking. I love cooking so much I had a restaurant for five years… If it wasn’t for my CTS I would probably still be working in the kitchen.
      With that said, if artichokes were available year round I would make them at least once a week. You don’t have to eat them all at once you know you can save them and cook them at another time. As long as you stuff them and wrap them up nice. Last thing I wanted to mention is, good luck finding this in a restaurant, most will offer artichoke hearts or with pasta but stuffed I think you will only find in delicatessens or in your mama’s kitchen.

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