Will you forgive me for abandoning you? I didn’t mean to.
It just that my feet hurt…
and my butt muscles hurt…
and my brain hurts…
and so do my hair follicles, but that is what happens when you are on your feet for 6 hours straight. Don’t get me wrong I am not complaining. As tired as I am when I get home I love it, ever minute of it.
Life has been crazy….crazy I tell you! Last weekend the husband and I took off for a little getaway. This weekend I helped build beds for a garden at school. I also experimented with a artichoke. Have you ever experimented with a whole artichoke? If you haven’t you should.
Why you ask? Because they are delicious. Especially this one.
Before this I had never made a whole artichoke, much less eaten a whole artichoke. It’s easier then you would think.
Mince some soppressata or your choice of a cured Italian sausage. Mince up a little extra to munch on while you work.
In a bowl combine, panko bread crumbs, soppressata, parsley, lemon zest, Parmigiano-Reggiano, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and mix together until well combined and evenly coated, set aside.
Using a serrated knife cut off the top 1/2 inch of the artichoke.
With some kitchen shears cut about 1/2 inch off all remaining leaf tips. Rub cut leaves with a lemon half.
Now is when things start to get prickly. In the center of the artichoke are purple leaves with very sharp little spikes,they can be a pill to remove, so watch your fingertips.
Separate leaves slightly with your thumbs and scoop out the purple leaves from center and enough yellow leaves to expose fuzzy choke. Scoop out choke with melon-ball cutter.
Squeeze some lemon juice into cavity. Trim the remaining artichokes in same manner.
TA-DA! Artichoke ready.
Fill the cavity with about 2 tbs of stuffing. Starting with the bottom leaves and spreading leaves open as much as possible without breaking, spoon a rounded 1/2 teaspoon stuffing inside each leaf, it will begin to spread open like a flower.
Lay a slice of provolone on top of the artichoke. If you want it extra cheese lay another one on there for good luck.
Does that even make sense?
In a pressure cooker or a pot with a tight fitting lid, add wine, water, onions, oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Arrange the stuffed artichokes in liquid in 1 layer.
My pressure cooker is small and my artichoke was HUGE, but I was only making one so it was ok.
Seal pressure cooker with lid and cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. The 10 minutes start when the lid locks and the the little knob thing starts rocking.
If using a regular pot, simmer artichokes, covered, until leaves are tender, about 50 minutes. If you are making a large quantity of artichokes you can use a roasting pan tightly covered with aluminum foil.
Put pressure cooker in sink (do not remove lid) and run cold water over lid until pressure goes down completely.
Pop open the lid once the pressure has gone down and feast your eyes on a gorgeous and delicious package.
As you can see all the provolone melted down into the petals of the artichoke, YUM!
Using tongs place the artichokes in a bowl and spoon broth around the artichoke. Serve immediately.
Now to enjoy your delicious new treat. Pull off outer petals, one at a time.
Tightly gripping the top end of the petal, dip in broth, place the filling end in your mouth and pull through teeth to remove soft, pulpy, delicious portion of the petal. Discard remaining petal. Continue to eat the outer petals that way until you get to the heart of the artichoke.
With a knife slice the heart in half, the filling will fall out. Scrape out and discard any remaining inedible fuzzy part (called the “choke”) covering the artichoke heart. Cut into pieces and dip into broth to eat. Awesome deliciousness!
The combination of the filling and artichoke with the broth is to die for! Seriously.
I know that artichokes are a pain to prep and need an instruction manual to eat but it’s worth it, I promise!
Need more help? Checkout this great “How To” post from Simply Recipes.
Stuffed Artichoke Braised in White Wine (Gourmet 2002)
- 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 1/2 oz)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup minced sweet soppressata (dried Italian sausage; 1 1/4 oz)
- 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 medium artichokes (8 to 9 oz each)
- 1 lemon, halved
- 4 thin slices provolone cheese
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Special equipment: a melon-ball cutter; a 6- to 8-quart pressure cooker or a wide 4- to 6-quart heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Toss bread crumbs with parmesan, garlic, parsley, soppressata, zest, salt, and pepper. Drizzle oil over crumbs and toss to coat evenly.
Trim and stuff artichokes:
Cut off artichoke stems and discard. Cut off top 1/2 inch of 1 artichoke with a serrated knife, then cut about 1/2 inch off all remaining leaf tips with kitchen shears. Rub cut leaves with a lemon half.
Separate leaves slightly with your thumbs and pull out purple leaves from center and enough yellow leaves to expose fuzzy choke. Scoop out choke with melon-ball cutter, then squeeze some lemon juice into cavity. Trim remaining artichokes in same manner.
Spoon about 2 tablespoons stuffing into cavity of each artichoke and, starting with bottom leaves and spreading leaves open as much as possible without breaking, spoon a rounded 1/2 teaspoon stuffing inside each leaf. Top each artichoke with a slice of provolone.
Put water, wine, oil, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper in pressure cooker (without insert) or pot and arrange stuffed artichokes in liquid in 1 layer.
Seal pressure cooker with lid and cook at high pressure, 10 minutes. Put pressure cooker in sink (do not remove lid) and run cold water over lid until pressure goes down completely. If using a regular pot, simmer artichokes, covered, until leaves are tender, about 50 minutes.
Transfer artichokes with tongs to 4 soup plates and spoon cooking liquid around them.