Not gonna lie, artichokes kinda intimidated me. Hard to cook, hard to eat…why bother? Well, a sale at Trader Joe’s and this post at Things My Belly Likes changed my mind.
My first attempt was inedible, except for the stuffing. Ha, well, you can’t win them all. But by round two, success! And boy was it good.
Don’t want to bother stuffing them? I found an easier way to enjoy artichokes was just to steam them, with the stem and tips cut off, above boiling water for 30-40 min. Then drizzle with olive oil, lemon, and parsley, or dip in mayo or your favorite creamy salad dressing.
- 2 globe artichokes
- 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup parmesan or asiago cheese + a little more for topping
- 2 tbs fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 F.
First, prepare the artichoke. Chop off the stem and pointed tip. Using scissors, snip off the thorny tips of each leaf.
It doesn’t hurt to remove the bottom leaves too — especially the small or discolored ones. While you are working, squeeze a lemon over the leaves to prevent them from browning. I used a pastry brush dipped in lemon juice, or you can just dunk them in a bowl of lemon water.
Gently pull apart the yellow leaves toward the middle, until you see a purplish rose-bud shape. Remove this whole thing with your fingers or a spoon, hollowing out the middle. Beneath the purple leaves, there will be a fuzzy disc-thing (I’m feeling loquacious today, can you tell? 😉 ). Remove this as well, using a spoon, apparently it’s not edible. This whole process gets kind of messy!
Now you are ready to stuff them. Combine the cheeses, herbs, garlic, and salt/pepper in a bowl and mix thoroughly. To stuff the chokes, I filled up the middle cavity, and then used a butter knife to fill the little openings of the leaves with stuffing.
Bring a big pot of water to a boil. In a colander or steaming basket, steam the stuffed chokes until soft, about 40 minutes or so.
Sprinkle with cheese if you like, and then place them in the oven until browned…this didn’t take long at all.
To eat, pull off the leaves one by one. Scrap out the inner leaves (The softer inner lining is delicious, but the outer tough part isn’t edible). When all the leaves are gone, you get to the soft part at the bottom center — the heart — that is the best part!
Any feedback on this method?
Happy artichoke-ing! 🙂