All Choked Up about Mediterranean Stuffed Artichokes
Artichokes — those gnarly hand grenades of the vegetable world — bring back memories of spring. Artichoke season begins in March and tapers off in summer before it comes back for a second season in September and October. This Mediterranean native of the thistle family has a meaty richness and offers vitamin C, folate, magnesium and fiber (6 grams for a large artichoke).
This recipe — which swaps classic bread crumb stuffing for one made with bulgur and Mediterranean herbs — reminded us of the three important steps to prepping a bulbous artichoke.
- Remove the lower leaves near the stem until the light green ones are visible.
- Use stainless steel kitchen shears to trim the pointy tips of the leaves.
- Trim the stems evenly so the artichokes will stand up straight in the pot.
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
- 4 globe artichokes, stems and pointy leaves trimmed with stainless steel kitchen shears
- 1 cup dry bulgur, prepared according to package directions
- 6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- ⅓ cup parsley, chopped
- ⅓ cup mint, chopped
- 2 tablespoons oil-cured sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Bring a pot* of water, a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons lemon juice to a boil. Add trimmed artichokes to pot and boil 25 minutes. Remove artichokes with a slotted spoon and rinse under cold water. Turn upside down onto paper towels and let drain 5 minutes.
- Heat oven to 400°F.
- Prepare stuffing by combining remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, bulgur, feta, parsley, mint, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and kosher salt.
- Place drained artichokes in a small baking dish, standing on their stems. Divide stuffing evenly among artichokes, filling between leaves.
- Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until golden.
- When picking a pot to boil the artichokes in, use one they fit snugly into. Do not use aluminum or cast iron because these metals will discolor the artichokes.
- To enjoy cooked artichoke petals, pull each leaf through slightly clenched teeth and remove the flesh. You can eat the heart, but steer clear of the fuzzy "choke" underneath.
Regina Ragone MS, RDN, and Susan Mitchell, PhD, RDN, FAND, share the food you love, how to stay fit for life and be fabulous everyday through professional continuing education and digital/traditional media communications. Connect with them here and on Google+ and Twitter.
(Photo: Top: adisa/iStock/Thinkstock; Recipe: Regina Ragone MS, RDN, and Susan Mitchell, PhD, RDN, FAND)