Aren't these beautiful? These are Big Heart artichokes which I found at Papa Joe's, in Birmingham. They're much bigger than the regular globe artichokes in the local grocery store. These are special, but you can certainly make this recipe with globe artichokes, which I usually use.
If you've never prepared an artichoke before, give it a try. Once you've done the first one, it's a cinch. It's not as hard as you would think. This is a great vegetarian dish for lunch or you can serve it as a side dish. The stuffing is really delicious and has a little zing to it because of the red pepper flakes!
This recipe will stuff 2 large Big Heart artichokes or 3 regular Globe artichokes.
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 cups chopped mushrooms (use any kind you like)
- large pinch of red hot pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs*
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup white wine
*Don't use dried bread crumbs from the grocery store. Make your own, fresh. Just take some sourdough bread, or any kind of bakery bread like Italian or French. It can be stale. Cut off the crusts and place the bread in a food processor and process until it becomes crumbs. You can keep these in a plastic container in the fridge quite a long time. They're much better than buying them.
Slice the top inch or so of the artichoke off. These tops of the leaves are inedible.
Squeeze lemon juice all over the cut leaves. This helps prevent the artichoke from turning brown.
Start pulling out the inner, purplish leaves. Keep pulling the inner leaves out until you expose the entire choke at the bottom.
Make the filling:
Saute the onion in a skillet for a few minutes with a pinch of salt, until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and stirring frequently, saute for 5-6 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Add the parsley, bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.
Place stuffed artichokes in a baking dish. Fill dish with water until the water comes up about an inch around the artichokes. Place cut lemons in the dish. Add the wine in the water. Cover with foil. Bake at 400 degrees for an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the size of the artichokes. To test for doneness, pull out one of the leaves and when the fleshy part is soft, it is done.