I love artichokes!! So for my birthday this month,
a good friend sent me these beauties from California!! I call them beauties because of the lushness of the green and purple leaves, right down to the core…so beautiful, I had to take a still-life photo of them!!
The following recipe was handed down from my grandmother to my mother and I’m happy to share it with you!!
But first I’ll describe how to prepare the artichokes for stuffing, then I will include the recipe…
Start by soaking them in cold water for about 10 minutes, to clean them. Let them stand upside down to drain for a few minutes, then cut the end of stems, for a clean end. You could cook these whole, but I prefer to cut them in half, so I can feed more people and it won’t be as filling, because a whole one could be a meal!! So start at the stem and cut through to the tip…
Now you have lovely halves!!
Next cut about an inch from the top, these are tough leaves, with not much meat. I also, pull some of the small leaves off the base of the stem, exposing the larger leaves.
This is the trickiest part, cutting the choke out, which are sharp and pointy…simply cut around the bottom of the choke, like the photo, then pull on the purple leaves and the whole choke will come out and form a nice cavity to put in stuffing!!
Now they are ready to steam!! Lay a steaming basket at the bottom of a big pot, fill water to just at basket level, then layer artichokes and cook until an outer leave pulls off easy.
While the artichokes are steaming, make the breadcrumb mixture for stuffing.
The photo on the left are the artichokes after stuffing and before cooking, the photo on right is after cooking…
ITALIAN STUFFED ARTICHOKES RECIPE
- 6 whole artichokes
- 2 cups Italian bread crumbs
- 1½ cup imported romano cheese grated
- ¼ cup parsley minced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 6 tablespoons olive oil or enough to drizzle in and out of artichoke
- Soak artichokes in cold water for 10 minutes.
- To prepare the artichokes: Cut end of stems with a sharp knife.
- Slice off 1 inch straight from the top of each artichoke (the prickly part).
- Cut out choke, by cutting below prickly part and pull sharp purple leaves out and choke will come out with it.
- You could rub lemon on cut surfaces to keep it from turning brown, but it will brown when steamed and cooked…so this step could be optional
- Place the artichokes, cavity side down, in the steamer basket, cover, and steam until they are almost tender, about 35 minutes. (They’ll finish cooking in the oven.) Check for doneness by pulling off an outer leaf — it should come off fairly easily. Set them aside to cool.
- While the artichokes are steaming, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Mix breadcrumbs, romano cheese, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
- Hold artichoke over bowl of breadcrumb mixture, use a spoon and/or your hands to carefully fill all of the spaces between the leaves as much as possible, then lay artichoke down on vegetable sprayed pan, then fill the center of each artichoke with the stuffing — fill it to maximum capacity! (If you think there’s too much stuffing, don’t worry just pack it in.) Carefully drizzle olive oil into filled leaves and cavity. Cover with aluminum foil.
- Place in the preheated 375°F oven and bake for about 20 to 30 minutes or until breadcrumb mixture looks a little browned.
- Serve as appetizer, side dish or snack! ENJOY!!!😋
✼Note: For those who do not know how to eat artichokes, hold the top of each leaf in your hand and scrape with teeth from top to bottom, you will get breadcrumbs and meat from the leaf, a wonderful combination. When you get to the soft heart, you can eat the rest of the artichoke and stem too, because you have already removed the choke!! Click here to see a short video on how to eat a stuffed artichoke.
Here is a fun and character building way to keep your children or grandchildren busy…
A lemonade stand, covid safe too!! So Aaden, Parker and Gina were able to make it to Cape Cod for their annual visit this year!! They have wonderful memories of having a lemonade stand from two years ago, but I was very apprehensive about it this year, with covid raging, especially in busy areas on the Cape. However Gina had a plan…
She took the boys to our local dollar store, and bought all the supplies they needed, with the promise that they would pay her back, from the money they made from their profits!!
They couldn’t wait to get home, to start their advertisement poster board…
No help from grownups, this is what they came up with!!
Here is their merchandise…a donation of popcorn by their Aunt Patty, who lives next door to us💖 All the thirst quenching drinks are sealed and bought from the dollar store, the fruit punch and lemonade were great, not too sweet!!
Our cottage is on the way to the beach, so they had a short wait until customers started coming!!! They remembered to put their masks on when people came up to their stand…
As the police pulled up, we thought, “OH NO!” maybe we did something wrong, but no, they wanted to buy lemonade and had very supportive words for the entrepreneurs!! And then, the ice cream man came along and he bought lemonade too🤗
And of course, the boys bought ice cream with their profits…notice the money in their basket!!! In two days they each made $80 and donated half to St. Jude!! People were so kind, many gave more than they owed. Another happy memory made from Nina and Papa’s cottage!!
My latest paint by number masterpiece!!
My son VJ gave this to me for Mother’s Day…an online company will make up a paint by number kit, from a photo that you send to them!! It’s a little blotchy, but came out a very good likeness to the photo…it will get a special place in one of our homes♥️
Our family was very touched by the kindness of so many people coming by and buying lemonade from Aaden and Parker. Along with their words of encouragement and generous spirit, prompting the boys to want to give some of their money to charity!! It reminds me of this quote:
I will keep their kindness in my heart and try to pay it forward whenever I can💚