Sunday, April 21, 2013

Stuffed Artichokes

     I went to my local farmers market and found this amazingly large lion artichoke for $3, I just had to take him home. I decided to prepare it like my grandfather Girolamo (Jerry) from Caserta always prepared bella carciofo. I made a simple stuffing of bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper. Specific amounts depends on your taste, set this mixture aside. Now prepare the artichoke for stuffing by cutting about 1/4 inch off the top and spreading the leaves open and season inside with salt and pepper. Next remove the center leaves and the choke, I just pull the thin leave out with my hands and scrape the choke thistle out with a spoon. Next grab the stuffing in you hand, messy but the only way, and pack it in tight into every nook and cranny and a big handful in the center. I placed it into  a heavy stock pot, added water until it comes about 1/4 of the way up on the artichoke and drizzled more olive oil on top. Cover and steam until an outside leave pulls out freely. This one took over an hour because it was so large but if you have several small ones it will cook faster. You can place it under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp up the top if you like. You can also add thing to the water like wine, olives, capers ect... I hope you try artichokes this way!!
*make sure you have a nice loaf of crusty bread to soak up the juices

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