Artichokes are not easy to clean and prepare… but once you have been shown how to they are so delicious and good for you.
We’ve always made a rich stuffing including among other things, hardboiled eggs, parmesan cheese and bits of home made salami.
Some just like to keep it simple using a stuffing of breadcrumbs, garlic and herbs.
Here is a list of ingredients to sprinkle in to the tight leaves of an artichoke as a stuffing – all optional.
Garlic, Onion chopped finely
Grated tasty cheese
Fresh and/or dried herbs
Hard boiled eggs, chopped
Ham or Proscuitto or Salami, sliced, chopped
Peas, Broad beans (in season too)
Olives, chopped finely
Be sure to have straight cuts across the bottom so the artichokes are sitting up straight to stuff them.
Gently spread the leaves and slowly fill with stuffing mixture of your choice.
It seems difficult at first, just pry the leaves apart and with a spoon fill with the stuffing.
Add them all to the pot of sauce at the same time.
Any tender parts of the stem can be added, gives the sauce more of an artichoke flavour.
The sauce doesn’t need to be very thick once the artichokes go in, water can be added so they are almost completely covered and gently simmer in the pot.
It’s also a good idea to have some potatoes, cut into pieces, to put between them. This helps them stand together and make a nice addition to the meal instead of making pasta or rice separately.
They are cooked when the potatoes are cooked (good test) or gently tug at a leaf – if it comes away easily they are ready!
Enjoy… Buon Apetito!