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IMG_2955

Baked Artichokes

Would you believe this recipe is over a hundred years old? My grandmother called this recipe “las alcachofas de mi madre” which translates to “My mother’s Artichokes”. So yes, this recipe is quite old, in fact I had to enlist a friends help when trying to decipher her recipe as most of the main ingredients were practically illegible. So thank you Belinda from Catalan Bay for helping me out.

Although for my Grandmother this was probably an everyday recipe, it isn’t one of mine, I do make them occasionally though, especially when friends come round as they make a great starter.

My grandmother’s original recipe was slowly stewed on the hob until the Artichokes were soft and tender, but I find that as long as they have a tight fitting lid (you can make this with foil as I do)  you can bake them in the oven and the result are the same.

Ingredients

6 Medium sized Artichokes - you can used tinned ones too
1 Onion finely diced
1 lettuce trunk - yes the bottom bit of the lettuce - cleaned and finely diced
Green peas - enough to cover the base of the pan
100 ml Oil - I use Olive oil
225 ml vegetable stock or water
200g freshly grated cheese - I like using Edam the hard variety
100g finely chopped ham - use food processor for this it gives the best result
2 cloves garlic - mince them with the ham.
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
56g fresh breadcrumbs - around 2 average sized slices
1 teaspoon Marjoram
2 eggs - Beaten

Instructions

1
Clean the Artichokes by removing the stalk (don't throw this away), then trim the lower leaves up to a third of the way. You can feel the difference between the hard bits and the soft center covered by the leaves. Then trim one third of the top of the artichoke. It should resemble the picture below when ready.
2
Immediately place into a bowl with cold water and sliced lemon. This is to prevent the vegetable from oxidizing. Trim the Artichoke stalk, and finely dice.
3
In a deep pan - it needs to be deeper than the artichokes - place the diced onions, lettuce trunk, artichoke stems, oil and stock, and cover these with a layer of peas. Place on the hob and slowly bring to the boil over a low/medium heat.
4
In a food processor, chop the ham, garlic and parsley, until finely diced. Add in the bread - in little pieces - then add the marjoram and finally the grated cheese. Blitz to mix all ingredients together. Finally add the beaten eggs and mix until combined. If the stuffing is too thick then add a little drizzle of oil until it loosens up.
5
Take out one artichoke at a time. Dry them and open it out. Remove the center of the Artichoke with some shearing scissors as this tends to be very hairy and hard. Until it looks like the photo below.
6
Stuff the center of the vegetable and slowly stuff as many of the leaf cavities as you can. Once ready put to a side and continue in this way until all the Artichokes are done.
7
Place Artichokes in the pan as close together as you can so that they do not break apart whilst cooking. You can either reduce the heat once the Artichokes are in place, and slowly simmer for an hour or until they are soft and tender on the hob, or you can cover with foil and cook for 45 minutes in a pre-heated 180 degree oven. After 45 minutes remove the foil, and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes until the stuffing browns.
8
Then serve whilst still hot. One medium sized Artichoke makes the perfect starter, whilst two make a good main dish. Serve with any preferred accompaniment. I used chips
9
Lovely Stuffed Artichokes baked at CosyKitchenCorner
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