Thursday, July 18, 2013

Stuffed Artichokes in a Summer Supper

I'm still getting acquainted with artichokes, but I think I might love them. I might even love them so much that I'll stop saying, "Okey dokey, artichokey!" Because that would be taking the magnificent artichoke's name in vain (not because it is...hokey.)

My previous relationship with these creatures--and when I say creature, I think of when I was in the reptile house at the zoo with my boyfriend and I said, "Oh, what is this creature?!" and it turned out to be a cactus in the terrarium--consisted mainly of spinach and artichoke dip or other inclusions where they weren't quite masked but did not present their full strange beauty.

During the preparation, I didn't actively feel like a gardener, but looking back--I really wish I had been wearing a sunhat and overalls. (I wish this on many occasions.) Lopping off the stem, yanking off the outer leaves, trimming the tips. Next thing you know, I'll be art(ichoke)fully arranging them around my house. Just wait!

The lemon is rubbed on the cut edges of the artichoke to prevent discoloration while cooking. I think my mistake was using a not-so-fresh lemon, as I did not get as much juice out of it. Therefore, the outside browned a bit, but the inside remained lovely! So here's my advice: juicy, juicy lemons.

Stuffing was fairly simple. Once I pulled the 'choke apart with my thumbs, I sprinkled the stuffing mixture (breadcrumbs, freshly grated Parmesan, parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper) inside, shaking it to make sure the sprinkles reached deep.

See? Already with that discoloration. Lesson learned!

While the artichokes--covered in greased foil--baked, I carried on with the rest of dinner: chicken marinated in a lemon thyme and white wine vinaigrette and green beans simmered with tomato and garlic.

And then the artichokes came out!

And--after shutting up the hungrier, more inquisitive cat--we ate!

Stuffed Artichokes
Serves 2.

2 large artichokes
3/4 cup bread crumbs
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1. Chop off the stem from each artichoke so that it will sit flat. Remove tough outer leaves and trim tips from remaining ones. Spread apart the leaves with your thumbs.
2. Preheat the oven to 425. In a medium bowl, combine breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup Parmesan, parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Holding an artichoke over the bowl, sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over it, shaking to ensure the mixture reaches deep down into the artichoke.
3. Put the artichokes into a shallow baking dish. Rub a tablespoon of olive oil over the top of each one. Take a sheet of foil and rub the remaining tablespoon of oil on one side. Cover the baking dish with the foil, oil-side down.
4. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove dish from oven, uncover, and sprinkle remaining cheese on top of each artichoke. Switch oven to broiler and return dish to oven for three minutes.
5. Serve!

1 comment:

  1. artichokes are my favorite vegetable. i'm happy we can bond over this now... Another reason to come see you soon