Friday, August 12, 2011

Recipe Swap: Big Grandma's Stuffed Artichokes

Want to see what other Summer Vegetable recipes were made during the swap? Here is the link to the Summer Vegetable Recipe Swap Roundup

This week's recipe swap theme was Summer Vegetables. I lucked out and got Big Grandma's Stuffed Artichokes from my friend Melissa. I love artichokes and was excited to try this recipe.

I only made one artichoke because, as you know, SP isn't a fan. I also left out the raisins because I don't like them. I really wanted to love this recipe but it was a little dry. I'm used to dipping artichoke leaves in butter, so maybe that's why. I've looked at other stuffed artichoke recipes online that call for ricotta cheese or egg in the filling and I think that would help a lot.

Big Grandma's Stuffed Artichokes
I Was Born to Cook

4 large artichokes
2 cups bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan or pecorino romano cheese
1 cup raisins (red or white)
1/2 cup pine nuts
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Using a sharp knife, cut the top of the choke to level it. Cut stem off. Peel stem and reserve to put in pot when cooking artichoke. With kitchen scissors, cut the sharp edges off the leaves.

Mix Parmesan cheese, raisins, pine nuts and bread crumbs with some pepper. Spread the leaves on the chokes and stuff with mix. One way to do this: stand the choke in a separate soup bowl and hollow out the center where the thorny leaves are. Put a very generous amount of the mixture on the center cavity, spread the leaves and push the mixture into the leaf area.

Using a pot tall enough to cover the chokes, place the chokes in, fill with water and some olive oil to cover the bottom of the leaves (about a third of the way up the artichoke). Drizzle some additional oil on top of each choke.

Bring water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and steam the chokes for approximately one hour. Pull a leaf and taste for tenderness. If you like it more tender, steam longer. Serve immediately.
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  1. That's because the raisins make them more moist! Such a key ingredient - stinks that you had to leave them out. More oil probably would have helped, too.

  2. Melissa - Well darn! Not liking raisins I had no idea they'd add moistness. I should have asked you before I made them.

  3. Oh yes, 100% correct! This, coming from an Italian woman who grew up eating baked stuffed artichokes once a year, on Christmas Eve (along with 'most' of the seven fishes). The raisins are a deal-breaker. Yep, Melissa knows - you've got all that delicious melange of flavors with the freshly made bread crumbs, raisins, garlic, pignoli nuts...and lots of good oo. If you think you've used enough, douse them one more time. So here's something - as our family has grown, we've taken culinary license with some of the traditions...well, perhaps 'updated them'. What used to be an event in my childhood when the tray of beautifully stuffed artichokes my grandmother painstakingly prepared. Those were the days! Well, now our stuffed artichokes are served as a casserole - made with all the same ingredients except we use only artichoke hearts, not the leaves, for obvious reasons.
    It's a very close comparison. I think I loved the 'ritual' of eating my stuffed artichoke...and a foodie was born! Merry Christmas and Bon Appetite!


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