Artichokes Two Ways

August 20, 2016 11:38 AM

Maria Papa aims to cure Dan Levy of his artichoke-mistrusting ways with a pair of recipes making use of the savory veggie, in the Let's Eat Kitchen.

Everything Artichoke 

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The Artichoke is a nutrient dense vegetable that is ever so popular in Italy, but sometimes can be a misunderstood Stateside.  California artichokes are among the tastiest in the world and readily available all year long. Many of us pass over the artichoke at the grocery store because we just don’t know what to do with it once it’s in our kitchen. 

At long last - the Great Artichoke Aversion is Over!

Whole, steamed artichokes make a wonderful appetizer. Steaming is the preferred method for cooking artichokes in order to preserve all the nutrients it offers. Artichokes are high in fiber and potassium, vitamin C, iron and magnesium — a real power house. 

Ingredients for Steamed Artichokes:

4 whole fresh artichokes

1 lemon cut in half

melted butter for dipping

1-2 quarts lightly salted water for steaming (depending on the size of your pan)

Steamed Artichoke method:

Wash artichokes under cold running water and scrub gently with a kitchen brush to remove the thin, bitter film that artichokes produce while growing.

Trim off the bottom stem, as well as about one inch of the top of the artichoke.

Rub trimmed artichoke tops with 1/2 lemon.

Place artichokes top DOWN / stem side UP in a steaming basket over salted water, cover, and steam for approx 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the artichokes. You can test the artichoke for doneness much like testing a baked potato by piercing the stem area.

Ingredients for Italian Stuffed Artichokes:

4 whole fresh artichokes

2 cups finely grated Perreca’s Italian bread crumbs

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling over top of stuffed artichokes

 2 Tbs grated Romano cheese or Pecorino Romano if you desire extra saltiness

1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf Italian parsley

1 clove finely chopped garlic

freshly ground black pepper to taste (if you like a lot - add a lot)

Italian Stuffed Artichoke method:

Wash and trim artichoke as described above, and pull open the petals in order to make room for the stuffing.  

Place opened artichokes stem side DOWN in a baking dish and stuff opened up petals and middle with prepared stuffing.

Mix together all of the dry ingredients, then fold in the chopped parsley and garlic. Finally, mix in the extra virgin olive oil to give the bread crumb mixture a moist texture. 

Add prepared stuffing to each artichoke both inside petals and in the center.

Drizzle top of each artichoke with extra virgin olive oil.

Pour 1 inch of water to the bottom of the baking dish and cover tightly with heavy aluminum foil allowing the artichokes to steam covered in their baking dish. Place in a 400 degree pre-heated oven for about 60 minutes. 

Test for doneness by piercing the bottom with a paring knife or fork much the same way one tests a baked potato.

Eating (yes - there is a right way to eat an artichoke):

Whole artichokes, both steamed and stuffed are delicious eaten by peeling off the petals and pulling it through your teeth to capture the meat on each petal before discarding the tough exterior. Remove petals in this way one by one and eat plain, or dipped in melted butter. Make your way to the center of the artichoke, removing the bristly “choke” center with your fingers and spoon out the silky fibers covering the heart gently with a spoon and discard.  What you have left is the delicious steamed heart of a fresh artichoke that can be quartered and eaten with some fresh lemon, dipped in butter, or eaten au natural.  

Other uses for artichoke hearts:

  • Pizza topping
  • Omelet ingredient
  • Sautéed with garlic and tossed in your favorite pasta dish



Joel Landas

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