Coming from an Italian/American family we always had stuffed artichokes prepared by both my mother and grandmother.
I’ve been making them for my family not only in spring, but whenever I see them in the market. I also try to make them in the late fall which is when I remember my mom would always make them.
My recipe is a basic breadcrumb mixture that can vary depending on what I have in the fridge.
- 2 Cups bread crumbs -- seasoned or unseasoned
- 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup Olive Oil
- 1 fresh lemon
- ½ cup white wine (or use water)
- 4-5 thin slices of Genoa salami diced
- 3-4 chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil
- 3 TBLS. grated Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese
- Mix together the breadcrumbs, minced garlic, parsley.
- Add in any of the optional ingredients and stir into the crumb mixture.
- Then drizzle the olive oil slowly into the breadcrumbs and stir until the crumbs are moistened with the oil, sometimes it needs more sometimes less.
- Next add in juice of ½ lemon and stir until all is blended. The mixture should not be dry - it should be moist enough so that it will clump together rather than be crumbly. Add in salt and pepper to taste.
- If you use one or more of the optional ingredients you should not add too much salt as these ingredients are already quite salty.
- Cut off the bottom stem so that the artichoke is flat, then pull off some of the bottom leaves and discard. With a serrated knife, cut about ½ inch off the top of the artichoke and cut off any pointed tips if any on remaining leaves.
- Pull the leaves apart with your thumbs and rinse in cold water with lemon. Remove the sharp center leaves with a grapefruit knife which is the "choke". The leaves are pointed and fairly sharp which you don't want to eat. Under that choke is the heart which is usually very sweet.
- Now that you have a little cavity in the center of the artichoke, you can spoon the breadcrumb mixture into the center and around the leaves. You will have to use you hands to open the leaves to push in the breadcrumbs.
- Place the artichokes close together (they can be touching) in a saucepot with a tight cover, drizzle a little olive oil on top of each artichoke. To the bottom of the pot add ½ cup wine, juice from half of lemon and enough water to cover the bottom third of the artichokes. Add more or less of any of the liquid ingredients according to your preference.
- Cook on medium/low simmer approximately 45-60 minutes or until tender with a tightly covered lid on the saucepot. The best and fastest way to cook the artichokes is to have them steaming in the liquid.
- If the liquid evaporates from your saucepot you should add more water and keep covered.
- You can check for tenderness by placing a very sharp knife into the side of the artichoke and it should pierce the artichoke easily, or the leaves will start to fall off.