Stuffed artichokes were a staple in my family, especially around the holidays. Since I was little, I remember watching my mother at the table, clipping the tips of the artichokes off. Then she would pour a bread crumb mixture over them and slightly bang the artichoke on the table to make sure that the crumbs fell into every crevice. Messy? Yup! Delicious? Of course! My mother passed away in 2009. After her passing, I was determined to keep up that messy artichoke tradition and I continued to do so for about 5 yrs afterwards…
You may have your own way of making them, but for anyone interested, this is the technique we always used:
*Heat some water in a pot on medium heat (just enough so it won’t go over the artichokes once they are placed in) While the water is heating, cut the stem and the tip of the artichokes off, open the choke up as much as possible, pull out the inside and scoop the furry stuff out with a spoon. Then in a bowl (this is where I eyeball everything 😂) for about 2-3 artichokes I mix about 2 cups seasoned bread crumbs, 1 cup finely grated Romano or Parm, teaspoon of minced garlic 🧄 few sprinkles of parsley, salt and pepper, juice of a lemon 🍋 and drizzle olive oil to moisten it all. Pack it all into the leaves and the center of choke. Grate a bit of mozz on top and place them into the pot making sure they are sitting up nicely. Cover and cook on medium for 45min to an hr. Enjoy!!
One day I finally said to myself “there has to be an easier way to go about this.” And there it was, I had discovered “leafless” breaded artichoke casserole recipes online that changed everything! No more messy breadcrumbs everywhere. No more piles of half eaten leaves all over the table. It was the new perfect addition (or replacement should I say) to the Thanksgiving table…
Here’s the recipe I like to use: *Preheat oven to 400. Toss 4-5 cans of drained, quartered artichoke hearts into a casserole dish. Squeeze juice of a lemon onto the hearts. Drizzle about a tablespoon or 2 of olive oil on top and mix it all until artichokes are coated. In separate bowl, mix 2 cups of seasoned breadcrumbs, 1 cup of finely grated parmesan, 1/2 tsp of minced garlic, sprinkle of parsley and drizzle of olive oil and mix together. Toss this mixture well into the casserole with artichokes so they are fully coated. Add a touch of shredded mozzarella on top. Cover with foil and bake for 30-35min. Enjoy!!
Well, all this really changes is the mess of it all. It doesn’t change what the dish actually means to me. At first, I kinda felt bad that I had stopped her tradition of “giving the artichoke a trim” as my mom would say, as she trimmed away at the leaves. I was still carrying over the holiday artichoke tradition, only in a much more simpler form! The breaded flavors mixed with the artichoke hearts still reminds me of her. The fact that I still include an artichoke dish, whether it be in a casserole form or not, still has her name written all over it! In fact, I think she eventually would’ve done exactly the same thing if she had come across this easier method too!
With Thanksgiving approaching, still carry on those traditional dishes from those above… And hey, if you find a much more simpler approach to it, go for it! I bet they would’ve eventually too. Happy Thanksgiving 🍁🦃