Okie Dokie, Artichokie?

Mmm… artichokes.

My mom eats them with seasoned butter; my dad, mayo; and a host in Spain, sliced thin and grilled. I go butter at home, so tasty. They leave that sweet residue on your palate, have luscious hearts and are totally worth any extra effort.

Berkeley Bowl – yes, again mention of my favorite grocery store – was selling 3 for $1.00. How do you pass that up? You don’t.

They were the small kind, so stuffed with breadcrumbs seemed like the right thing to do, seeing as that the leaves wouldn’t yield much meat to teeth off. It was my first time doing this, so let’s learn together.

You can either cut the top half off first – or peel the leaves until you get to the tender yellow ones. Either way you’ll end up with a little something like this:

After you get down to the yellow bits, you’ll cut off the fibrous green part at the bottom – where leaves were torn off. In the photo below, it’s where the angled part is.
So then after that you cut it lengthwise down the middle and spoon out the ‘choke’ – the little hairy pieces and the purplish leaves – the photo is prior to tearing off the outermost leaves:
Finally, I stuffed them. I had panko bread crumbs and roasted garlic from earlier in the week – so I tossed those together with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Baked in a 350 oven for about 40 min, until I could easily stick a fork in the heart, and they were done! Tiny little 2-bite artichoke snacks.
Final analysis – tasty! They were crispy and tender at the same time – maintaining the best of the heart with the crunch of the breadcrumbs with savory garlic tang and the sweet, roasted, artichoke finish.
Though a few things to take away:
  • Next time I will cut off more of the leaves, because once they baked for that long, they were a little too dry and crisp
  • Also make sure to coat the exposed parts of the heart in olive oil so they don’t dry out
  • I would also recommend experimenting with the stuffing. It would have been great with regular garlic, sausage or even mushrooms. And if you use a bigger artichoke, you get an even bigger cavity to fill – yum!

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