Artichokes were definitely one of my Grandmother's specialties. No matter how I try, I don't think I will ever get mine exactly like hers. This is one of those recipes that I wish we would have written down while she was here. So, if you like Stuffed Artichokes, you should give this recipe a shot. I know you won't be disappointed.
5 ARTICHOKES 1 LARGE ONION 1 WHOLE HEAD OF GARLIC 4 STALKS OF CELERY ( WITH LEAVES IF POSSIBLE) 1 STICK OF BUTTER 1/3 CUP OLIVE OIL SALT & PEPPER 1 TBLSP DRIED PARSLEY 1 CUP BREAD CRUMBS 1 CUP GRATED PERCORINO ROMANO CHEESE
FOR SOME EXTRA SAUCE ON TOP
1 STICK OF BUTTER 4 CLOVES OF GARLIC JUICE OF 1 LEMON
Start with some beautiful, fresh artichokes.
You will need to prepare them before you start. Grab a scissor and cut the tips of each leaf. I know it sounds a bit tedious, but believe me those tips can be very pointy and dangerous, so you do not want to skip this step. It goes quickly. When you have cut all the leaves up to the top, you can use a knife to flat cut the top.
Lastly, cut the stem down and flat so they can sit nicely in a pot to steam. But before you put them in the pot, Grandma's famous trick....smack them against the counter. Just 2 or 3 times, it help open them up a bit. Your can loosen the leaves a bit.
Place them all in a large stock pot with a steamer basket at the bottom and a few inches of water brought to a boil. Steam them for about 25 minutes. You want them so you can separate the leaves to stuff them, but not so soft that they are falling apart. Just keep an eye on them. You can pull a leaf out to test how tender it is. Just remember they will cook more in the oven when they are done being stuffed.
At this point, you can preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While the artichokes are steaming, you can prepare the stuffing. It is very simple. In a medium saute pan you can begin to melt the butter and add the oil to heat. Add in the celery, onions and garlic. Make sure they are all chopped finely!! You really want everything very small here. This is Grandma's standard concoction. I think every one of her recipes began with this....seriously!! Season well with salt & pepper and let cook until all are very very soft and tender. You do not want any of this crunchy at all.
Let it cool for just a minute and add the breadcrumbs and the cheese right into the same pan. Mix it well and there you go.....delicious stuffing!!
Now the fun part....grab an artichoke, pick a beginning point and spin it around slowly stuffing each leaf as you go. Go lightly, you only need a tiny bit on each leaf, you don't want to totally miss the taste of that delicious artichoke. Besides you want to make sure you have enough for all!! That has happened to me sooo many times. Someone always ends up with a wanna be stuffed artichoke....haha!!
Place all in a roasting pan with a cup of water on the bottom. This will help to continue the steaming process while in the oven. Cover with foil and bake about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
You can make a quick sauce while they are in the oven to put on top when you are ready to serve. Just melt the butter in a small saute pan. Add the juice of the lemon and the minced garlic. Bring it to a simmer and let it cook until reduced and slightly thickened.
When the artichokes come out you can add some of the liquid from the bottom of the roasting pan. It now has a great artichoke flavor from steaming that will be a nice addition. Pour a little on top of each artichoke.
OK....time to dig in!! Go at it. Leaf by leaf. Enjoy every one until you reach the middle. This was always my Dad's favorite part.....mine also. Eating an artichoke heart always reminds me of my dad. We have had a lot of laughs and memories over artichokes. These artichokes have spent a lot of time in our family. They are on every holiday table for sure as well as so many others. A family favorite. ENJOY!!