Stuffed artichokes were always something I ate at restaurants, but never dared to attempt making them at home. I don’t recall my mother ever making stuffed artichokes at home either. I always thought that it was just too difficult and time consuming. How could I possibly think I had time to stuff each little leaf while tending to children, who always seemed to want attention while I was cooking dinner. Then one day it dawned on me that when I would visit my cousin, who also had two small children, she often had stuffed artichokes cooking on the stove. Boy did they look and smell heavenly! How did she do it? Did she have more patience than me? Were her children better behaved? The whole “stuffing” thing scared me, but eventually, one day I asked her if she would show me how to make them. Well the stuffing was simple enough to make, and I found the process of gently pressing the stuffing into each leaf to be almost meditative. I have been enjoying this recipe of hers for close to thirty years, and it never fails to be absolutely scrumptious every time. Now don’t get me wrong, this is not a quick dish. You will need several hours to prepare and slowly simmer them, as the longer you cook them, the more tender they will be. So this is a great dish to prepare earlier in the day, and then you will have time for the kiddies (or whatever else you choose) during the bewitching dinner hour.
3 to 4 large artichokes, washed, with 1/2 inch cut off the top, and stems trimmed so the artichokes can stand up in a pot. Using a scissor, cut off the pointed tops of each leaf.
1 cup white wine
Juice of one lemon
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
2 cups Italian flavored breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
1 tsp. salt.
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup olive
1. Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl until slightly moistened. You may need to add more olive oil, if the mixture is too dry.
2. After washing and preparing the artichokes for stuffing, stand them in a large pot to make sure they fit.
3. Gently spread the leaves so they open a bit. Add a small spoonful of stuffing to each leaf, or to as many as desired. Add as much stuffing as you like to cover the the top. I stuff the heck out my chokes!
4. Place them back in the pot. Surround them with 2 inches of water, a cup of white wine and the juice of one lemon. Drizzle some olive oil over the artichokes and liquid.
5. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, for at least an hour to an hour and a half, until leaves break off easily. Check every so often to make sure liquid has not evaporated. Add more liquid if need be.
6. Serve in individual bowls, with some cooking liquid.
If you stuff your artichokes differently, I would love to hear your recipe. I love this vegetable and am always looking for different ways to enjoy them.