Stuffed Artichokes… To Die For

Look at those artichokes, wow!

I spotted the most beautiful artichokes in Trader Joe’s. They were large and barely had browning. I had to buy them. I was so excited about this find, I actually called my mother from the crowded store to share my enthusiasm. She’d get it. Her first words were, “HOW MUCH ARE THEY??,” “$2.59 each,” I said. She grumbled, “That’s high, but for this time of the year it’s ok, get them.” I wasn’t asking for permission but I appreciated her blessing.

I’ve written before about artichokes on my blog but I have not shared the family recipe in The Wave. This is my grandfather’s way of making them, sans chicken broth. You can use broth instead of water but I like to keep it vegetarian. And I don’t feel it changes the flavor.

Use your fingers to separate the leaves and get the breadcrumb in each layer

Grandpa Ralph’s Stuffed Artichokes

4 artichokes
Seasoned breadcrumb – about 2 cups
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup olive oil
2/3 cup water and more for cooking.
1/4 cup romano cheese
5 large cloves of fresh garlic
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
Salt and fresh ground pepper
Note: These amounts are a guide. Taste the breadcrumb mixture as you go and adjust to your preference.

1. Cut off the stems of the artichokes so they stand upright. Cut off the tips of the artichoke (1/2 – 1 inch) and use your fingers to loosen and spread the artichoke leaves apart.

2. Make the stuffing. Combine the breadcrumb, oils, diced garlic, chopped parsley, romano cheese and salt /pepper in a medium sized bowl. Slowly add water and mix, until the consistency is damp (not mushy!).

4. Stuff the artichokes using a spoon and your fingers to separate the leaves and get the filling in between everywhere.

5. Place the artichokes in a pot, sized so they don’t topple over. Add water to cover at least 1/4 of the artichoke bottoms. If the liquid is too high, the stuffing may come out – be cautious. Cover and place on the stove top on a medium heat for at least 1 hour. Check for leaf tenderness – when the outside leaf comes off easily they’re done. Drizzle with olive oil and serve hot.

For those who don’t know how to eat artichokes (and there are many)… place the wide end of the leaf in your mouth and scrape “the good stuff” with your bottom teeth – waxy side up. When you get to the heart, remove the “ fuzzy stuff.” That part of the plant is actually called “the choke.” And it’s not edible.


The act of eating an artichoke is a ritual for my family. You take your time around the table, enjoying the conversation while peeling and eating each layer. And finally the best part is revealed, the artichoke heart.

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Stuffed Artichoke

tagged in italian, recipe, recipes