Kay’s Stuffed Artichokes

Standing around in the kitchen, watching my great aunt, “Aunt Kay” make Italian stuffed artichokes was one of my favorite childhood memories.

artichoke-main

Even though it’s been 12 years since her passing, her infectious laugh, familial spirit and culinary know-how is revived every time I think about her stuffed artichokes. With the taste of each breadcrumb-filled leaf, I’m transcended back to my childhood and this kind, sweet woman. ❤

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[Aunt Kay & Rootie Foodie, circa 1987]

Food and family were important growing up, as any Italian would agree. And in our house, stuffed artichokes were a delicacy, usually only consumed during the holidays. Add the whole family and I was lucky to get half of one! As an adult, I love to cook these for dinner and I highly recommend indulging in your very own artichoke!

You’ll need:

  • Artichokes (regular or jumbo if you’re hungry!)
  • Italian seasoned breadcrumbs (Progresso is our family favorite)
  • EVOO
  • Garlic, minced
  • Parsley
  • Italian seasoning (optional)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Lay each artichoke on it’s side with the stem (bottom) to your left. Using a serrated knife,  slice about 1 inch off the top of the artichoke. Trim the stem of each artichoke so that it sits flat .
  2. Using kitchen shears or a knife, snip the edge of each artichoke leaf – about 1/2 inch or less. Just enough so that the edges are not sharp.
  3. Under cold running water, wash each artichoke, spreading the layers with your thumbs to get a thorough clean. (This will also make stuffing easier.)
  4. Shake the excess water out of each artichoke.
  5. At this point, you can remove the choke (center of the artichoke) but it’s really optional, as you’ll remove it before you eat the heart anyway.
  6. In a medium-large bowl, mix breadcrumbs, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), garlic, parsley, Italian seasoning and salt & pepper. The mixture should almost clump together.
  7. Hold one artichoke at a time over the bowl and using a teaspoon, fill most of the leaves with the breadcrumb mixture. It’s best to start in the center and work your way out.
  8. Place stuffed artichokes in a large pot with about 1-2 inches of cold water (Keep extra water handy.) over medium-high heat. Drizzle some EVOO over the top of each artichoke.
  9. Cover the pot and cook for about 30-45 minutes. This depends on the size and quantity of the artichokes.
  10. Periodically check the artichokes by picking them up and moving them slightly around in the pot. It is VERY important to add additional water to the pot every so often. This will prevent the artichoke bottoms from burning. While I know some people like a good char, once they burn, it ruins the WHOLE artichoke. 😦
  11. Pull a leaf from the bottom of one of the artichokes to test. When the heart is soft, they are done. 🙂

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As if you needed another reason to eat these, the end is a deliciously buttery heart. Add a little salt or eat plain and it will surely warm your heart. 🙂 The perfect end to this crumby meal!

artichoke-heart

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