Friday, February 15, 2013

Edible Thistle

I don't like to trim artichokes. Pity, they are one of my favorite vegetables. When I see them on a menu or salad bar I jump but I rarely make the prickly thistles at home. Today there was a sale on artichokes and I figured I'd better try. Admittedly I took the easy way to a dinnertime recipe. First I trimmed the bottoms so each artichoke would stand up on it's own. I cut off the top third or so of the thorny leaves and a few of the tougher outer leaves and placed four in a covered baking dish with a splash of olive oil, S&P, and about 1/2 cup of water. I covered the dish with tin foil and the heavy lid and let the artichokes roast for about 35 minutes. After they cooled down (uncovered) I was able to reach in and remove the feathery choke and prepare the thistles for stuffing.
I wanted our artichokes to be a main dish so I opted for a hearty sausage stuffing. I simply pan fried Italian sausage (out of the casings) with shopped onion and plenty of garlic. To the cooked sausage I added breadcrumbs, grated parmesan and a dash of tomato sauce (I happened to have it in the fridge) for moisture. I placed the stuffing mostly in the center but also between the leaves of the waiting artichokes, drizzled the tops with more parmesan and olive oil and baked at 400ยบ until heated through, about 15 minutes.
Admittedly these are going to win and vegetable beauty contest but this pretty quick recipe made artichokes accessible at home. I might just try it again.

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