Don’t these artichokes look delicious? They were. But don’t let their pretty faces fool you; these guys are a lot of work and take some serious muscle. First, you spot them in the store and you’re all “oh, I love artichokes! I’m gonna make artichokes! This pile looks so cute I’m gonna instagram it and tell everyone that I’m making artichokes!”
Then you get home, and you find dozens of ways on the interwebs to make them and you feel paralyzed by all the choices. Mark Bittman says raw, in a salad. Italians say with breadcrumbs, cheese, and white wine. Saveur says with lemon, and not to worry about boiling first. It’s confusing and overwhelming, to say the least. Which is why I don’t have an exact recipe in this post, cause I sort of combined all three of these (and a few more that I can’t even find the links to right now) and winged it. First though, the requisite “before” shot.
Then I put them top down in a pot of 4 cups of water and turned the heat up high. I boiled them for about 12 minutes, making them soft and easy to pry apart. This is crucial, once you see what comes next. But while these are boiling, you need to make your stuffing. I used about 2 cups of breadcrumbs, 2 TBSP of minced garlic, juice of 2 lemons, and a cup of white wine. Also, one egg and 4 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil.
Now comes the hard part. Or, if you’d rather get your arm workout from making artichokes then going to the gym, then this is the easiest, best part of the process. For me however, this was when I realized I should have had a more substantial snack, cause it was taking longer than I thought and I was getting hungry. (Read: worried, cranky.) You need to pry open the top of the artichoke and remove all the inner leaves. It’s easy once you get it going, but the first ones are a bit rough and require a bit of dexterity. Least they still look pretty, right?
Then comes the fun (and messy) part — stuffing them. There’s no way to describe this politely; you just have to stuff your breadcrumb mixture into every nook and cranny. And really get in there, between as many of the leaves as you can. Then, put ’em all in a roasting pan, pour some white wine over them to cover the bottom of the pan, squeeze some fresh lemon juice, and cover with foil. Roast for about 45 minutes, removing the foil for the last 10. And voila! Peel, scrape, shovel in and enjoy.