Artichokes are abundant everywhere you go these days. My favorite are the ones from our local Farmer’s Market. You can taste the fresh quality and they are so much easier to cook than the store bought ones.
When I first starting eating these, my roommate in college introduced me to dipping them in butter. While they tasted good dipped in butter, I can only imagine all of the calories and cholesterol my body was ingesting. So I started using yogurt as a dipping base instead and I love it. The yogurt dip is so easy to change the flavor profile and I can keep it as simple or complex as I am in the mood for. This particular recipe, I kept it on the simple side with a little roasted garlic, cayenne, and salt mixed into the yogurt.
The traditional way of eating artichokes is by steaming them. I could (and actually have) eaten many whole artichokes all by myself. The husband used to eat them but eventually tired of steamed artichokes and stopped. I really wanted to him to share my love for artichokes so I’ve been trying many other ways to cook them. I’ve roasted (and burnt) them in the oven, stuffed them with various fillings that just didn’t hit the spot before I created this recipe.
All I can say is, you have got to try it! Oh man am I excited to share this stuffed artichoke recipe. Here are a couple of tips though when you are making these artichokes:
- Get fresh artichokes from your local Farmer’s Market. Trust me it makes a difference. The time spent cooking, the quality in taste, and the ease of prepping the artichokes are worth it!
- When you are prepping your artichoke, slice off the top quarter of the vegetable and make sure you trim off the ends of each leaf. Using your hands, gently push apart the leaves to create a wider space in the center for the heart to hold more of the stuffing.
- Put some muscle into removing the choke. Having stretched the artichoke to be able to hold the filling, it will be easier to remove the choke and the hair-like filaments.
Well….. what is the stuffing? Oh man, the most delicious and easiest to make. I used:
red onion (the color comes out so pretty)
bread crumbs (a combination of Italian seasoned and panko)
garlic (of course!)
vegetable broth (though you could replace it with white wine – the taste would still be excellent)
a hint of pepper
Because I am stuffing the artichoke, I also did a 2 step cook. First, I par-steamed the artichoke while I made the stuffing, then I baked it all in the oven to finish cooking the artichoke and get that glorious color on the Parmesan cheese.
I really hope you get a chance to try this recipe out as it has become one of my favorites already!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this Italian Stuffed Artichoke with a Garlic Cayenne Dip.
Italian Stuffed Artichoke with a Garlic Cayenne Dip
For the Artichoke:
- 1 medium artichokes, trimmed and top 1/4 cut off
- 1/4 plus 1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 c purple onion, finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp vegetable broth
- 1 c Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 2 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- freshly ground black pepper
For the Garlic Cayenne Dip:
- 1/3 c plain yogurt
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Fill a steamer pot with a 4 inches of water, and place a steamer basket on top. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer.
- Drizzle 1 Tbsp of the lemon juice in the steamer pot.
- Place the artichoke, stem-end up, in the steamer basket, cover, and steam until it is tender, about 15 minutes.
- Check for doneness by pulling off an outer leaf — it should come off fairly easily. Set them aside to cool.
- While the artichokes are steaming, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over low-medium heat. Let it simmer until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes.
- Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Pour in the remaining lemon juice and the vegetable broth. Stir and let this simmer on low heat for about 4 minutes.
- Add the bread crumbs, panko and parsley, mix well.
- Remove from heat and season to taste with pepper and set aside to cool.
- Place the artichoke, sitting on its base, in a baking dish.
- Use a spoon and/or your hands to carefully fill the center of each artichoke with the stuffing -- fill it to maximum capacity! (If you think there's too much stuffing, don't worry just pack it in.) Then fill all of the spaces between the leaves as much as possible. Sprinkle the top of each one with 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan.
- Meanwhile, placet the garlic cloves in a double lined foil. Drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil. Wrap into a ball.
- Place the garlic and stuffed artichoke in the oven and bake until the breadcrumbs are golden and the cheese has melted, approximately 12-15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let artichoke cool for a few minutes.
- In a bowl, whip yogurt to a smooth, creamy consistency.
- Add in the roasted garlic and mash into the yogurt. Add in the salt and cayenne pepper and mix well.
- Serve the whole artichoke with the garlic cayenne dip for presentation. Slice in half to make 2 servings.
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