Stuffed baked artichokes are a classic way to enjoy this striking edible thistle. Artichokes are a fun and delicious appetizer to enjoy with friends on a warm summer evening. Impress your guests with baked artichokes with a cheesy stuffing!
- 4 large artichokes
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup (250 mL) Panko crumbs
- 1 large shallot, peeled
- 1 large clove of garlic, peeled
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tbsp (7.5 mL) Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
- 4 tbsp (60 mL) cup of melted butter
- Wash the artichokes thoroughly in a bowl of lukewarm water. Be sure to remove any visible dirt or debris.
- Drain the artichokes upside down on a dishcloth to remove excess water.
- Meanwhile, fill a large stainless steel, glass or enamelware pot with water and set over medium-high heat. Avoid using iron or aluminum pots, as they can discolour the artichokes and change the flavour.
- Grate the zest off the lemon and set aside for later. Cut off a piece of lemon to use as you prepare the artichokes.
- Using a sharp knife, cut off the stems of the artichoke to create a flat base. Rub the cut side with the lemon to prevent browning.
- Then cut off about 1/4 off the top of each artichoke. Again, rub the cut part with the piece of lemon.
- Cut the spiky tips off the leaves with a pair of kitchen shears, and continue rubbing with the lemon as you work.
- Once the water is boiling, place the prepared artichokes in the pot and cook for 20 minutes.
- While the artichokes are boiling, add the Panko, shallot, garlic, cheese and seasonings to a food processor. Pulse the mixture until everything is well combined, then slowly add in 2 tbsp. of melted butter. This will be the stuffing for the artichokes.
- Drain the cooked artichokes, and allow to cool on a dishtowel to remove excess water.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (205ºC)
- Once the artichokes are cool enough to handle, open the leaves apart to reveal the pale leaves in the middle. Use your fingers to twist and pull those leaves out of the middle of the artichoke. You should now see the purple choke.
- Use a spoon to carefully scrape the choke out of each artichoke. You want to be careful not to break off the outer leaves in the process.
- Once the chokes have been removed and discarded, place the artichokes in a baking dish.
- Spoon in some stuffing into the center of each artichoke, then carefully add stuffing in between the leaves – working from the inside to the outside. The outer leaves are the most tough, so it’s best not to put too much stuffing into those leaves.
- Bake the artichokes for 15-20 minutes, or until the stuffing has warmed through. If desired, you can broil the artichokes for a minute or two to brown the tops.
- Drizzle with the reserved 2 tbsp of butter, and a squeeze of lemon. Serve immediately.
- To eat, pull off an outer leaf, put the base of the leaf in your mouth, and use your teeth to scrape off the stuffing and edible portion of the leaf. Repeat with each leaf, working towards the inside of the artichoke. You cannot eat the entire leaf – it is too fibrous.
- When you have removed all of the leaves, you will be left with the heart of the artichoke. You can easily eat this with a knife and fork, since the choke was already removed earlier.
Shareba Abdul is a blogger and freelance writer who specializes in food writing and photography. She creates recipes for home cooks and shares her restaurant experiences at InSearchOfYummyness.com.