Carciofi Ripieni (Stuffed Artichokes)
Updated: Oct 13
If you want to buy me flowers, buy me these.
Fried, stewed, in a risotto, in pasta... artichokes are the base of many Italian dishes and one of my favourite vegetables, with so many health properties. They are beloved by Italians, so much so that Italy is the world's biggest producer and consumer.
Full of health properties, artichokes are harvested twice a year - both in autumn and spring - depending on the type of plant they are harvested from.
I've always loved artichokes in all versions, but stuffed artichokes are one of my favourite, not only because they are delicious, but also because they are fun to eat! You pick the petals off one by one, eating the tender parts along with the juicy-crunchy filling.
Ingredients (for 2)
2 artichokes, preferably the Sicilian variety or the Mammola (Roman) variety as their leaves are more tender
2 heaped tbsp grated cheese (we use caciocavallo cheese but you can use anything you have on hand)
Parsley, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
Wash the artichokes carefully. Cut the top part of the leaves at about 1/3 of their height. Remove the harder, outer leaves closer to the stem. With a teaspoon or knife, also remove the innermost hairy parts and discard. Cut the stem and place the artichokes upside down on a kitchen towel to drain the water.
In the meantime, prepare the stuffing by mixing breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper and seasoning generously with olive oil.
Bash the artichokes upside down on the counter to open up the flower slightly so it's easier to stuff. Spoon the stuffing in between all layers of leaves and innermost part.
Place the artichokes in a tall pot (possibly one that is of the right side so the artichokes don't move or collapse while cooking) to which you have previously added a little water to cover about 1/4 the height of the artichokes. Add about 1tsp of oil to the water.
Cover with a lid and cook on a medium-low flame for about 40-50 minutes, depending on the size of the artichokes. If during this time the water evaporates, you can add a little more, making sure not to wet the top of the artichokes.
Your artichokes are ready when you pull one of the leaves and it comes off easily.
Word of the Day
(Artichoke, pronounced car-ció-fo)