Try this fresh artichoke recipe with a simple breadcrumb stuffing
Stuffed Artichokes Recipe
If you like steamed or boiled whole artichokes, try them stuffed. You’ll love the way a simple herbed bread crumb stuffing amplifies their flavor. This recipe comes from my mother who served these artichokes for over 40 years. She came to America from Rome and the secret ingredient in her recipe is "Roman mint" also known as mentuccia, mentuccia romana, and Calamintha nepeta. My mother "accidentally" brought a cutting home with her from Rome back in the 1960s, and we've kept it propagated since then. It is truly a fantastic flavor to have with artichokes. If you can’t find it, fresh peppermint or even oregano will make excellent substitutes.This dish makes an ideal summer time starter or side dish to accompany any grilled meat or seafood.
Makes. 4 servings
Takes. 30-45 minutes prep and 60 minutes cooking
4 large artichokes
1 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint, preferably Roman mint
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1) Prep. Fill a large bowl with water that will easily hold the artichokes submerged. Slice the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl to make acidulated water.
2) Peel off a few of the small, tougher leaves from the bottom of the artichokes. Slice off the stem (if there is one) flush with the bottom of the artichoke so that it will sit flat. At the top of the artichoke, slice off the top half-inch or so of the leaves to expose the inside a bit. Use kitchen shears to snip off the tips of all of the outside leaves that have sharp points..
3) Spread apart the leaves of the artichokes as best you can, then drop the artichokes into the acidulated water. Rinse and shake off any dirt and let soak in the water for 10-15 minutes.
4) While the artichokes are soaking, mix the bread crumbs, salt, pepper and chopped mint in a bowl. Here's a picture of Roman mint, but any mint will do.
5) Drain the artichokes and re- spread the leaves slightly. If they're reluctant to spread, place an artichoke top side down on a cutting board or counter and press down on the base with your palm. To stuff, place an artichoke in a bowl and work 1/4 cup of the breadcrumb mixture between the leaves. Scoop any of the extra mixture from the bottom of the bowl that may have fallen from the application and reapply to the spread leaves. Repeat with each artichoke.
6) Choose a large heatproof pan wide enough to hold all of the artichokes without crowding, and deep enough that it can be covered. A large disposable aluminum pan works well. Spray the bottom of the pan with olive oil or other vegetable spray. Place the artichokes in the pan and add about 1/2 inch of water to the bottom. Drizzle the tops of the artichokes with the extra virgin olive oil.
7) Cook. Cover with foil, and place the pan over medium heat on your grill or stovetop. Bring the water in the pan to a boil, then lower the heat so that the water simmers. Simmer the artichokes for about 45 minutes. Test for doneness by pulling off a bottom leaf. It should pull off with only a gentle tug, and the flesh should be tender. If it isn't done, continue to simmer, covered, and check for doneness every 5-10 minutes. Avoid overcooking as the leaves can dry out and get tough. The artichokes should be finished in one hour or less, but could go longer if they are very large.
8) Serve. Gently tear off the individual leaves, and consume the fleshy portion along with the stuffing. Once all the leaves have been consumed, remove the choke (the feathery portion over the base) and eat the tender artichoke heart, the best part of the entire artichoke!!