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December 12th, 2017

Ess, Ess/ Eat, Eat

These two yummy artichoke recipes are perfect --- filling and nutritious as an appetizer, snack or lunch

 Emma Christensen

By Emma Christensen

Published July 8, 2015

These two yummy artichoke recipes are perfect --- filling and nutritious as an appetizer, snack or lunch
When it comes to artichokes, don't be deterred by those prickly outer leaves or that gag-inducing inner choke. Their sweet and tender hearts are a prize worth the effort it takes to get at them.

Choose ones that are heavy for their size and feel compact when squeezed.

Artichokes brown very quickly once you start cutting into them, but lemon helps to slow the process down. Squeeze half a lemon into a bowl of cool water and have this nearby while you work. Rub the cut surfaces with the spent lemon half and keep the prepared hearts in the lemon-water until you're ready to cook.

Snap off all the tough outer leaves until you reveal leaves that are completely yellow with only light green at the tips. Trim the green ragged edges from the base of the artichoke and peel away the tough skin from the stem, leaving behind only white flesh.

Next, slice off the top inch of the artichoke, removing all green tips. Cut the artichoke in half lengthwise. Use a melon baller or grapefruit spoon to remove the hairy-looking choke and all the small purple-tipped inner leaves. What's left is your hard-won artichoke heart.

From here, you can slice the heart into quarters or even eighths. Leave the stem attached or remove it for presentation purposes, but eat it either way. It is an extension of the heart and delicious.

Artichoke hearts can be braised, steamed, roasted or grilled. They're done when the centers are completely tender when pierced. Hearts are fantastic simply drizzled with olive oil and a little salt for an afternoon snack, but they can also make a lovely side dish.

QUINOA-STUFFED ARTICHOKE HEARTS

SERVES: 6-8

  • 8 artichokes
  • 1/4 cup white wine, chicken broth or water
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 small tomato, diced small
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 hardboiled eggs, diced small
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for roasting pan
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Prepare the artichoke hearts as described above. Leave the artichoke hearts in halves. Each half will form a cup for the quinoa stuffing.

Coat the bottom of a roasting pan with oil and place the artichoke hearts face down in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pour the wine or broth over top. Cover the pan tightly with foil and steam for 20-25 minutes until the hearts are tender.

Place the roasting pan over two burners on high. Remove the foil to allow the moisture to evaporate. Continue until the surfaces of the hearts are caramelized.

While the artichokes are steaming, cook the quinoa in one cup of boiling water with a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa has absorbed all the water. Mix with the tomato, shallot and eggs, and then toss with the lemon juice, olive oil, and one half teaspoon of salt. Season to taste.

When the hearts are cool enough to handle, sprinkle the insides with salt and fill them with the quinoa salad. Scatter parsley on top.

The artichokes and filling can be prepared separately a day ahead and the artichokes can be filled several hours in advance. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for one week. This recipe can also be halved.

SEARED ARTICHOKES WITH LEMON-WALNUT VINAIGRETTE

SERVES 4-6

  • 4 whole artichokes
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup shredded Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • Salt and pepper
Prepare the artichoke hearts as described above. Cut off the stems and slice them into thin rounds. Cut each heart into eighths.

Set a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat the bottom with a tablespoon of oil. Drain the artichoke hearts and put them in the hot pan while still wet. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt, cover the pan, and reduce the heat to medium. Steam the hearts for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the hearts are tender when pierced with a knife. If the pan gets dry, add a few tablespoons of water or white wine.

Remove the lid and increase the heat to medium-high. Allow the moisture to evaporate and the outside of the artichokes to caramelize.

Whisk the remaining olive oil with one tablespoon of lemon juice, the cheese, shallots, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper in a bowl until creamy. Taste and add more lemon juice if desired.

Combine the artichoke hearts with the vinaigrette in a serving bowl and sprinkle the walnuts on top. Serve warm, room temperature or cold. This side dish can be prepared the day ahead and leftovers will keep refrigerated for up to a week.

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