Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Baked Stuffed Artichokes

By Lisa VanWilliams

Raised as a Polish girl, I never had stuffed artichokes growing up. We did the pierogies, stuffed cabbage, kielbasa and sauerkraut items, but never stuffed artichokes (*the things you miss out on by not being Italian). I came across some mini artichokes at our local grocer and decided to give it the "old college try". I have never made them before, but I know there are several health benefits to eating them. Don't get me wrong, I am all about artichoke dip, but I never had them this way. They can be a little tedious, but they will keep you pleasantly entertained. Artichokes are in peak season early spring time March-June. This peculiar shaped green pointy thistle is actually an edible flower. Bring the taste of this Mediterranean delicacy to your home with this garlicy, cheesy, recipe.

Why are they good for your health? To list a few reasons:

  • major antioxidant (helps to strengthen immunity)
  • packed with fiber
  • high in vitamin c (good for bone and muscle health)
  • high in nutrients
  • low in calories
  • helps indigestion problems
  • promotes good heart health
  • lower blood cholesterol
  • helps with weight control by making you feel full

9 mini artichokes
3 cloves garlic
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup flavored bread crumbs
1-2 lemons
4 tablespoons butter
½ cup olive oil
fresh cracked pepper
½ cup water
½ cup white wine

Preheat oven to 400. Cut the stems off the artichokes so they will sit flat in pan.

Take the point tip and smash it down, this will open up the flower. Cut the pointy thorns off on all the big tips. Drizzle some lemon juice on them to prevent them from discoloring.

In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs, garlic, cheese, olive oil, butter, and pepper. Pack the petals with this mixture all the way to the base.

Pour the white wine and water in the bottom of pan and cover. Cook for 40 minutes or until they are tender. You should be able to stick the knife in them easily when they are done.  Remove the foil and brown for a few more minutes if needed.  

Remove the fuzzy choke cavity above the heart before eating (you can do this while prepping, or after cooking). Pull the petals off, place between teeth, and remove pulp and bread crumb mixture into your mouth. Enjoy!

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