Stuffed Artichokes - the best

I've adapted this recipe from one that was on a fluffy cooking show on TV. They didn't give portions for the ingredients so I had to experiment a bit. This takes about 30 minutes to prepare, and 3 hours to cook, but the results are delicious!

However, if you want something a bit more elegant on the plate, I have a recipe for stuffed artichoke hearts that might suit you better.

Preheat the oven to 350.

A. artichokes 6 medium  

Use a sharp kitchen knife to cut off the stem of each artichoke. Make sure the artichoke will sit upright on the trimmed base. Reserve the stems. 

Now lay the artichoke on its side and cut about one inch off the top leaves. You want to cut enough to cut a bit off the tops of the yellow inner leaves.

Use kitchen scissors to trim off the sharp pointed tip of each of the remaining leaves. 

With your thumbs, gently pry open the artichoke. Start near the outer ring of leaves and work your way towards the center. Be careful to not break the outer leaves off the base. You will find that the artichoke leaves are stiff, but resilient. They feel a bit like hard rubber. 

Once the choke is open, pull out about half of the center yellow leaves.  Start by pulling out just one or two and then the rest will follow. If you can expose the unopened flower at the center of the artichoke, remove that too - although this is not necessary.  Set the chokes aside.

Take the stems and trim off any bad or black areas.  Remove any remaining leaves. Remove outer skin. Chop what remains into 1/8 inch cubes. Set aside. The chopped stems will oxidize (turn black), but that doesn't hurt them.

B. dinner rolls 4 Or equivalent white bread.
onion powder 1 teaspoon  
garlic powder 1 teaspoon  
  garlic, fresh 6 cloves Minced
  yellow onion 1 medium Chopped
  black olives, pitted 15 ounce can Drained
  salt 1 teaspoon  
ground black pepper 0.5 teaspoon
  Chopped stems from step A.  
  olive oil 0.25 cup Plus a bit more.

In a very large mixing bowl, tear the dinner rolls into thumb size pieces.

Add ingredients, except the olive oil, but including the chopped stems. Mix well using your hands. 

Now drizzle olive oil over the stuffing and mix it well with your hands, kneading the mixture.

Drizzle a bit more olive oil and knead it again until the stuffing will form a loose ball when squeezed in your hand.

C. Prepared artichokes from step A  
Prepared stuffing from step B  
salt 1 tablespoon  
  olive oil 1 tablespoon  

Form 0.5 cup of stuffing into a loose ball and pack it into an artichoke. Press the stuffing in tightly.

When each artichoke has 0.5 cup of stuffing in it, distribute the rest of the stuffing into the chokes and really pack it in. Don't break the artichokes but fill them up well.

Fill a large roasting pan with 2 inches of water. Add the salt and olive oil.

Sit the artichokes in the pan.

Cook them uncovered in the oven for three hours. Check the pan every hour and add water if needed. 

Two hours into the cooking, baste each choke with a spoonful of the water they are cooking in.

Remove the pan from the oven and let sit for five minutes before serving.

Updates from readers

May 2003

I wanted you to know that we froze one of our cooked stuffed artichokes on 4/28/03 and took it out of the freezer yesterday 5/26/03. It was as good as the day we put it in the freezer. I was really surprised. We thawed it out on the counter and then heated it in the Microwave.

Pete M.