Pretty sure fresh, delicious, gorgeous artichokes were on sale at our local grocery store last week for $0.99. Um…YUM. Definitely a deal I couldn’t pass up. :)
But rather than going with my usual steamed artichoke and buttery dipping sauce combo, decided to try stuffing an artichoke for the first time! I imagined it would be pretty time consuming and challenging, but it was super easy!! And don’t be fooled by the long recipe instructions – stuffing the artichoke was also super speedy.
The base recipe I used just called for carrots and shallots (or onions) as the main veggies. But then I substituted in some Panko (my favorite!) instead of regular breadcrumbs. As it was cooking, I was second-guessing myself and wishing I’d added some more creative veggies, but the simple combo actually turned out to be delicious! And the Panko added in that perfect crunch of texture – loved it.
- 1 medium globe artichoke
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 shallot or small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme)
- zest of half a lemon
- 1/2 cup Panko, or regular breadcrumbs
- salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Fill a medium sauce pan 2/3 of the way full of water and bring to a boil.
Prepare the artichoke. Cut off the stem so that the artichoke will sit flat. Cut off the top 1 to 1 1/2 inch of the artichoke, then use kitchen shears to trim the spiky tops of the outer leaves. Put the artichoke in the boiling water and cover. If your artichokes are too big, and you can't put the lid on, place a heatproof bowl on top of them to weigh them down while they cook. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until you can pull away an outer leaf without too much resistance.
While the artichoke is cooking, prepare the stuffing. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrot and shallot (or onion). Season generously with salt and pepper; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more. Turn off the heat and add the thyme, zest, and breadcrumbs. Stir to combine. Taste and season again with salt and pepper.
When the artichoke is finished cooking, drain the water and run the artichoke under cold water until it's easy to handle. Put it upside-down on a kitchen towel to drain for a few minutes.
Turn the artichoke over and pull out the pale leaves in the very center, about a 1-inch diameter in the middle of the artichoke. Use a teaspoon or a measuring spoon to scoop out the choke, the hairy fibers inside the middle of the artichoke. Be careful not to scoop out too much of the heart, which is the soft, tasty solid just under the choke. Running your finger around the inside of the artichoke helps find stray choke fibers.
Place the artichoke in a baking dish. Spoon a tablespoon or two of stuffing into the hollow middle, then scatter the rest around the leaves, fluffing them out and making room for the stuffing to nestle in between them.
Bake the stuffed artichoke for 10 to 15 minutes, until the stuffing is warm and the artichoke is very soft. To eat, pull off the leaves and scrape them along your bottom teeth, picking up stuffing as you go. Once you eat all of the leaves, cut the heart into chunks and eat with remaining stuffing on the plate.
If you prefer to steam your artichokes, that works for the first step instead of boiling them as well!