Saturday, August 7, 2010

Stuffed artichokes

Fresh from the field, artichokes grow well in a cool marine environment.  One plant will produce a dozen chokes, not all at the same time. 

When you purchase them, you'll discover that 70% of the fruit is not edible at all.  The choke's outer leaves are tough and need to be discarded. What you have left is the heart and the stem.

 Don't worry.
Artichokes are a magic food. 
You will need to pull out most of the outer leaves, cut it in half length wise, scrape out the  fuzzy middle, and drop the choke and  peeled stems in a pot of boiling water with two, three slices of lemons for five minutes. Drain and set aside.

Prepare the filling:  for each half, you'll need two spoonfuls of bread crumbs, a tablespoon of olive oil, a tablespoon of chopped parsley, minced garlic, and salt and pepper to your liking.

Arrange the artichokes halves on a baking dish. Spoon the stuffing in the middle of each half.  Drizzle more olive oil and slide the dish in a hot oven, 425F, for ten minutes. Watch. Do not allow the filling to burn.

Serve hot, one half per person, as an appetizer, or as a side dish.
You'll pull a leaf out, use it as a spoon to eat the filling, scrape the soft part of the leaf against your front teeth, and discard the rest.  

The tongue and teeth will find is a tiny scraping of edible fiber at the bottom of each leaf that will surprise your senses.
You won't satisfy your hunger here, just tease it a bit, for the main course.
What we have done is to temper the bitterness by boiling, baking and adding companion savories.  What looked inedible has become a rare treat by the magic you provided in the kitchen.

A  glass of Riesling or Pinot Gris would help the mood.

Buon Appetito!


  1. You lost me on this one....there isn't enough pinot gris to get me to eat artichokes. I know, I'm strictly lower class!

  2. Artichokes are delicious. We steam them then remove the outer leaves one by one dipping the tips in vinaigrette and grating the inside with our teeth. When we get to the core, we remove the fuzzy things, scoop the heart out and dip it in the vinaigrette. Wine optional.

  3. this sounds yummy! i was looking at the plant and thinking how large it is for such a small fruit...or whatever an artichoke is :)

  4. so glad you've such a large table for us all!

  5. It's so good to see you all! Do share your own hits and successes. Thanks Paul, for the recipe. For those of you who are interested, artichokes are full of antioxidants, with more minerals than any other veggie. Who knew that such an ugly duckling could be so beneficial.

    If I suggest full menus, I will tend to make them low-carb, as my husband is watching his waist line these days because of his diabetes. My background is Mediterrenean. You will get a solid grounding on healthy choices.

  6. Oh, you got me with the artichoke! The magic of this delectable treat! Warm, cold, stuffed, grilled ... I love them prepared all ways.

  7. This sounds delicious - I love artichokes, but it's been a while since I had one. Though I agree, they're not the most filling!

  8. I love living in northern CA and feasting on these wonderful chokes, prepared all kinds of different ways. I can never pass them up on a restaurants menu and, when driving through Castroville, I stop, always, at the Giant Artichoke and have a feast which includes a steam artichoke, friend artichoke hearts, artichoke soup and salad and artichoke bread for dessert.