Stuffed Artichokes


You may have heard that artichokes are an aphrodisiacs? That’s why this week I am finally getting around to sharing the Italian Stuffed Artichokes for Valentines Day. Over New Years in Milan the artichokes were huge and abundant at every market and grocery store. Since they are a “festive” specialty and it was still holiday season I really wanted to learn to cook them properly. I have always wondered what I was doing wrong with my whole steamed artichokes which never seemed to be worth all the hype. The answer is that a boring old steamed artichoke isn’t really worth all the hype, but a stuffed artichoke slowly bathed in hot olive oil is definitely worth the hype! So check out the photo tutorial and the recipe below.
I think part of my problem is the I really believe artichokes are beautiful and I never peeled back enough layers. I now realize my hesitation for waist was not helping the pleasure of artichoke eating. If your lucky you keep about 1/2 the artichoke. Truth is, that most of the flower gets peeled away and cut off and whats left is tender and meaty.

cleaning the artichoke tripticAnother tip: The stems are delicious! Peel back the stems to the round tender center and voila you have tender bite-sized artichoke sticks.

waistAlso make sure you scrape out the artichoke “whiskers”- my friend referred to it as the beard. They are the white fibers in the very center that I guess are a hairy unpleasant texture to eat.

triptic 2Hollowing out the artichoke also allows you room for a tasty flavoring of anchovies, and garlic and parsley.

Oh and when you finish cleaning and cutting an artichoke immediately place it in a bath of cold water and lemon juice to prevent discoloration. You know how potatoes and avocados turn brown when exposed to air, that same thing happens to artichokes – 10 times faster! You can watch it happen in seconds! AND it does the same thing to your hands so wear gloves or clean them with lemon juice in lemon water

The filling is a combination of roughly chopped parsley, garlic, and an anchovy (I might add 2-3 next time for a stronger flavor- DON’T be squeamish and regret it later!)

tryptic 3

After the prep-work is finished then its time to bath them in olive oil.

start cooking in OO and water
The pot should be large enough for all the artichokes to fit comfortably. My friends father owns a farm in Italy where she gets loads of beautiful virgin olive oil, she liberally poured in several inches and then added about an equal amount of water- the chokes were about 1/2 way submerged.

place paper towel with lid on
Cover the pot with a stiff paper towel first and then the lid. I am not sure what this does exactly but it’s part of the ancient secret recipe that has been passed down through her big Italian family for generations and now it belongs to you!!!!

pot of artichokes
After about 45 minutes pierce the artichoke bottom and check if it is fork tender. When it is, remove it and squeeze on a little fresh lemon and salt and pepper to taste.

text artichokes lemon- meal


Large Fat Artichokes – at least one per person- (this recipe will make 3)

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1 Tablespoon anchovy paste or a few whole anchovies

1 clove garlic crushed

olive oil to cook

Clean artichokes hollowing out the center. Combined the parsley, anchovy, and garlic and stuff the filling into the center of the artichoke using your finger tips. Place the artichoke top down into the small pot with 1/2 olive oil and 1/2 water. Low boil with paper-towel on top of pot and lid covering it for about 45 min. Cooking time will depend largely on how big the artichokes are. Test or for tenderness. Salt and pepper to taste.

5 thoughts on “Stuffed Artichokes

  1. Oh yum! I love artichokes, but I’ve always been intimidated to try to cook them. You just may have convinced me to give it a whirl. Your pictures are amazing!!! I can almost smell them just by looking…yum!

  2. Great blog Hollee, I have always been intimidated by artichokes, I never could figure out how to cook them correctly. This recipe looks great. Thank you!

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