Yesterday I tried something new. I prepared and served stuffed artichokes. Up until that point, my experience with eating artichokes extended to smothering their hearts with cheese and spinach in dip form. I can not say that these stuffed artichokes were better, but they certainly were different.
A stuffed artichokes recipe first caught my eye when I was researching Oktoberfest recipes on The Beeroness earlier this fall. When Daily Candy posted a video on just how to stuff an artichoke earlier this week, I knew I had my next “Stuffed!” recipe. If you are a first-time artichoke stuffer like me, checking out both links is definitely worth your while. The Beeroness provides great pictures, and the Daily Candy video brings those pictures to life.
They may look odd, but stuffed artichokes are not at all difficult to prepare. To get the filling in between the petals, I found it easiest to place my artichoke right down into the bowl of stuffing mixture. I then spooned the stuffing mixture right over the artichoke itself, filling its petals almost like water running down a fountain.
Though they are easy to prepare, they are a mess to eat. I did not tear out the heart of my artichoke (sounds so cruel!) as seen on The Beeroness, and I am glad I did not. Taking a bite from the center felt like a reward after nibbling through all of the outer petals! Like the norm when eating shellfish at a beach restaurant, I wished I would have worn a plastic bib and placed a metal bucket nearby to discard the leaves. The point I am trying to make here is if you are considering making this recipe to impress a new date, I’d hold off a bit.
After all of this talk of artichokes, is anyone wondering, just what is this plant? The spikes on the leaves were so sharp that I wondered if they were type of cactus. Since I am not a horticulturist, the best I can determine from the “highly accurate” internet is artichokes are a type of thistle that may or may not be in the same family as the daisy and sunflower. The heart that we most often eat will actually bloom over time. Lovely and delicious. Enjoy!
- 4 artichokes
- 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup cooked and crumbled bacon
- Olive oil for drizzling
- 1 cup beer for steaming
- Trim the artichokes by cutting one inch off the top removing the stem so the artichoke can sit upright.
- Use kitchen scissors to trim the pointy tips off each petal.
- Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and bacon bits in a bowl.
- Loosen the petals of a choke from the center (so that it looks like a flower in bloom). Fill in each petal with a little of the bread crumb mixture.
- Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
- Place the artichokes (stems down) in a pot so that they fit snugly and remain upright.
- Fill the pot with an inch or two beer (or water) and place a lid over the top.
- Steam over medium heat for 40-60 minutes or until the petals can be pulled from the center of the vegetable without too much tugging.