Stuffed artichokes make a decadent spring appetizer that is not only delicious but also quite beautiful. With fresh herbs and garlic for flavor and gluten-free breadcrumbs to fit dietary restrictions at your table, this recipe will take an ordinary weeknight dinner and turn it into something special.
Originating from the Mediterranean, artichokes are a type of thistle, which are flowering plants characterized by their prickly leaves. Artichokes pack essential vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, phosphorous, folate, vitamin K, and vitamin C, and also one of the richest sources of antioxidants. High in fiber, and low in fat, artichokes may help with digestion by promoting healthy gut bacteria due to inulin, a type of fiber which acts as a prebiotic, naturally found in artichokes.
Though handing these bulbs may seem intimidating, incorporating them into your diet is easy using various cooking methods. Steaming is the most popular way of making artichokes and usually takes around 30 minutes, depending on the size. For this recipe, the artichokes are heated in a vegetable broth while baking, adding texture and depth in flavor. For those new to eating artichokes, you can consume the leaves and the artichoke heart. The only inedible part of the artichoke is the fuzzy center in the artichoke heart, called the choke, which can be scraped out with a spoon. To eat this appetizer, pull artichoke leaves through your teeth to remove the edible flesh.
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2 large artichokes
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated cheese (parmesan or pecorino romano, recommended)
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh oregano, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup vegetable broth
Baking dish with lid
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs, lemon zest, cheese, garlic, herbs, and salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
- Prep the artichokes by first cutting off the stem. Using kitchen scissors, cut off the tips of all artichoke leaves (approximately 1/2-inch).
- Using a serrated knife, cut about 1 inch off the top of the artichoke. With the half lemon used for zest, gently rub lemon juice over artichoke edges to prevent from browning.
- Gently pull open the center leaves of the artichoke with your hands and begin to scrape out the choke using a spoon.
- Place artichokes in the baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Generously stuff the center of the artichoke with the breadcrumb mixture and add breadcrumbs between leaves.
- To the bottom of the baking dish, pour in vegetable broth.
- Cover the baking dish and bake at 375 F for 1 hour, or more, depending on the size of your artichoke.
- Remove cover after baking time has completed and set the oven to broil to brown the breadcrumbs (1-2 minutes).
- Garnish with additional herbs and fresh lemon juice before serving.