Stuffing artichokes, although not complicated is time consuming. It is the perfect family activity because all ages can participate. The adults need to prepare the artichokes (cleaning and trimming), but everyone can stuff his or her own.
Several years ago … okay, many years ago when I was dating, I brought a nice young man home to dinner. There was a lot going on, a lot of cooking, a lot of laughing, a lot of loud voices … did I mention I’m Italian?
When everyone finally gathered at the table, my grandmother brought out the stuffed artichokes. My date just looked at it, without a clue as to how to eat the thing. He was waiting to see how one of us ate it, but we were all still talking. So, he did what any well-mannered young man would do and picked up his knife and fork.
This is how NOT to eat a stuffed artichoke! First of all , we use our hands, pull off one cheesy garlicky leaf at a time and scrape the stuffing off in your mouth, then discard the empty leaf on your plate. No utensils needed.
As for my date, well, he had artichoke stuck in his throat and didn’t talk much the entire night. Or maybe he just couldn’t get a word in.
- 1 Lemon
- grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- grated Romano cheese
- chopped fresh Italian parsley
- bread crumbs
- garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Remove outer leaves, cut a slice off the tops and cut stems off (so chokes will stand up). Wash well in cold water.
- Using a pot large enough to hold the chokes, fill with enough water to cover the artichokes. Add salt and the juice of a lemon. Bring to a boil, partially cover and cook until tender. (leaves should pull off easily and bottom of choke pierced with fork should be tender).
- To make the stuffing, combine both cheeses, parsley, bread crumbs, garlic, salt and pepper.
The amount will depend on the number of chokes you have. A good rule of thumb is equal amounts cheese and bread crumbs, half parsley and whatever your preference for the seasoning. Confused yet? Say you have 1 cup Romano plus 1 cup parmesan (that’s 2 cups) Now you need 2 cups bread crumbs, half of that is 1 cup of parsley…get it?
- Pull open each leaf and fill with cheese-crumb mixture
- Place in baking pan and drizzle olive oil on the artichokes, some on top and each leaf
- Add about ½ inch of water to pan (this helps them steam)
- Bake covered @375 degrees 20-25 minutes
- Remove cover increase heat to 450 degrees, bake a few minutes until browned
Note*** If you have extra cheese crumb mixture-Great! It’s perfect for chicken cutlets, fried eggplant or any other meat or veggie you want to coat.