My Grammy made us stuffed artichokes for every holiday or family gathering when I was growing up. Busting with bread crumbs, good italian spices and tons of love, if I remember correctly. As far as I was concerned a so called ‘artichoke’ was simply a vessel for buttery breadcrumb goodness, not a vegetable.
Then last year my world was completely expanded upon when my roommate explained to me that you could simply steam artichokes, dip them in butter, and that there was a heart. I had never gotten to the heart of an artichoke before. So we set out to steam artichokes that night. Although we ended up doing something terribly wrong and the artichokes took 2.5 hours to steam, no exaggeration. We waited impatiently until it was 11pm, then finally dipped the soft leaves into rich garlic butter while laying on our roof in the warm spring air. And oh my, the heart.
I stuffed this artichoke with ground beef, olives, and lots of italian love. When I got to the heart, I warmed up some butter and dipped away. I just couldn’t choose which way I like better so I went with both.
The outer layer never yields much flesh from the leaves themselves, but once you get towards the middle, the leaves become more tender and almost completely edible. And the heart is just perfection dipped in melted butter with a touch of garlic. Here is a good resource on the proper way to eat an artichoke, they can be intimidating!
Italian Style Beef Stuffed Artichoke
This recipe makes a single artichoke but can be very easily doubled or tripled for more people. May store tightly covered for 1-2 days, reheat in oven. A paleo friendly meal.
- 1 artichoke
- 1/4 Lemon
- 4oz ground beef
- 1/4 white onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- Basil, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley, paprika, and cumin
- Tsp dijon mustard
- 5-6 black olives
- Marinara Sauce
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off top inch of artichoke heart with a sharp knife then snip off top of each leaf with scissors. Also, if your artichoke has a stem, cut that off as well (although mine did not). Pry the center open and remove the purple leaves. Squeeze lemon juice over the top and all the leaves to keep from browning. (View my first few pictures in this post for a visual guide.)
In a pan over medium heat, add butter then diced onion and minced garlic cloves. Stir until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
In a bowl combine ground beef, spices, onion and garlic mixture, dijon mustard, and halved black olives. Mix well. Stuff meat mixture into the center cavity and into each surrounding leaf.
In a casserole dish, place artichoke in the center and fill the bottom with water until it reaches about an inch up the artichoke. Place lemon slices in the water, cover the artichoke with tin foil, and bake for 1 to 1.5 hours. Mine took about 1.5 but it may depend on the size. I topped mine with marinara sauce for the last 20 minutes.
How have you enjoyed artichokes in the past? Stuffed? Steamed? Dipped in butter?