Saturday, November 23, 2013

Stuffed Artichokes

It probably sounds weird, but artichokes remind me of the holidays. My mom or grandma would stuff a batch and serve them with our Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas feast and I always looked forward to it. I didn't realize until I was much older that most families don't cook up a batch of stuffed artichokes for their celebrations. My husband had never eaten one until he came to one of our holiday events. Really. So if you are an artichoke novice, fear not. They are delicious and a cinch to prepare.

The edible part of the artichoke is disproportionate to its actual size. There's a teensy bit of meat on the bottom of every leaf you pull off, which we all toil away to scrape off with our teeth. Then once all the leaves are peeled away you get down to that succulent treasure trove at the bottom - the heart. There are these little fiber-y hairs encasing the top of the heart which pull off easy. Then it's go time. It's your reward for making it to the end of the journey. And what a pleasant journey it was.

The classic recipe uses breadcrumbs and even some Parmesan cheese. By swapping breadcrumbs with a deliciously seasoned almond meal you go from a carb-loaded dish to one with more protein. Artichokes by themselves are an antioxidant superfood and rank among the highest for total antioxidant capacity. So why ruin it with all those irritating gluten-y breadcrumbs? Need I give you another reason to eat a darn artichoke?

Note, you'll need 2 cups seasoned almond flour (see post: Italian Seasoned "Bread" Crumbs, or the below recipe).

  • 2 cups almond flour/meal
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.


  • 4 large artichokes, trimmed
  • lemon juice (optional)
  • 2 cups Italian seasoned "bread" crumbs (see recipe)
  • 8 cloves garlic, smashed with the flat of your blade and minced
  • 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • boiling water
  1. Prepare your artichokes. Cut off the stems so they will stand upright. Slice off the top third of the artichokes and pull off some of the tough outermost leaves. Trim off the pointed tips of the remaining leaves with kitchen shears. Turn the artichoke cutside-down, and with a firm grip on the base, bang the artichoke against your cutting board to open the leaves. Rub cut parts with a little lemon juice, if desired, to keep from turning brown. Use your thumbs to open the leaves the rest of the way to make room for stuffing and set aside.
  2. Heat oven to 425° F and set a small stock pot of water to boil. 
  3. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs and garlic. Stuff one artichoke at a time by scooping out 1/2 cup of stuffing, placing the artichoke in the bottom of the bowl and sprinkling with the 1/2 cup of stuffing. Use your fingers to work the stuffing in between the leaves. You may not have to use the entire 1/2 cup for each artichoke because the size of your 'chokes may vary. Just ensure you get a bit of the stuffing between each of the outer leaves and in the top.
  4. Transfer stuffed artichoke to a baking dish. Continue until all artichokes are stuffed and placed in the baking dish. 
  5. Drizzle each artichoke with 1 Tbsp oil. Pour in boiling water from the stock pot to fill the dish about an inch high. Cover securely with aluminum foil and bake about 45 minutes. Check for tenderness by sliding a knife easily through the base of the artichokes. Once tender, uncover and broil for about 3 more minutes, or until the artichokes turn golden brown. Serve warm.

Cut off the stems to create a nice flat base and pull off some of the tougher outer leaves.

Trim off the top of the 'choke (about a third of the way down)

Snip off the pointed tips from each leaf

Knock your 'choke against a hard surface to get it to open up

Use your fingers to separate the rest of the way

If you don't already have your "bread" crumbs, mix up 2 cups' worth

Pour about a 1/2 cup crumbs over each artichoke and use your fingers to work it into the leaves

Drizzle each with 1 Tbsp olive oil

Almost ready to go!

Don't forget to add about 1" of boiling water to the pan

Cover tightly with foil and bake about 45 min

After a quick broil, them 'chokes is done!

Mmmm... artichokes


1 comment:

  1. It so hit the spot, and eating it even made me flash back to all those times in high school.