Monday, January 31, 2011

Stuffed Artichokes

I don't know what came over me last week when I bought these artichokes. I had completely forgotten how long it takes one to prepare the filling and to stuff them up. But once I got started with the filling I couldn't stop. Having a baby in tow did make my job of stuffing these two artichokes rather more difficult but somehow I managed in less than half an hour. I just couldn't abandon the artichokes - the filling smelled too enticing. So I persevered with Zack watching me with curiosity and sometimes moaning for attention.

If you're intimidated by this unusual-looking vegetable, you're not alone. But once you learn the simple procedure, preparing artichokes is easy.

Ingredients for two good sized artichokes

3 slices of stale Maltese bread (with crust removed)
olive oil
3 anchovies
4 sundried tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
4 or more green olives


Wash the artichokes under cold, running water. Pull off lower petals and cut off stem. Process the slices of bread in a food processor. Then add the rest of above ingredients in the processor and give them a quick whizz. Add a good amount of olive oil to the mixture. I don't add salt as the sundried tomatoes and anchovies are already salty.

Now here comes the difficult part. You have to separate each leaf and spoon the stuffing in between the leaves and place the artichokes upright, side by side, in a saucepan. Pour in water up to half the height of the artichokes, add a tablespoon of vinegar and some salt, and sprinkle with olive oil. Cover tightly, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer; when the leaves are easily removed, the artichokes are ready for eating. Take the artichokes out of the water, and allow them to cool.