Saturday, April 28, 2012

Stuffed Artichokes

 I love artichokes but honestly I don't like the bother of cleaning them. Spiny and prickly and in need of a good rubbing with lemon juice to keep the edible thistles an appetizing color. But artichokes are in season and compared to the exorbitant prices I am seeing for organic vegetables -- a relative bargain. I picked up a few globes and found a new technique on the internet. I blanched the whole artichokes in boiling water  (4 quarts) with a bit of lemon juice (2 TB) for 20 minutes. When drained and cooled I easily peeled off the lower leaves, snipped the spines and cut each in half to remove the choke with the edge of a spoon. Much easier.
To serve I mixed up a stuffing of cooked Italian sausage (another gift from our pig raising neighbors), chopped garlic, parmesan cheese, crushed red peppers, bread crumbs and olive oil. I filled the leaves and the cavity of the artichokes with this savory stuffing and baked the vegetables, sprinkled with more parmesan and drizzled with olive oil,  for 45 minutes at 375º.
A surprisingly hearty and surprisingly popular easily made supper.

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