This recipe is so near and dear to my heart. I ask for it every year on my birthday and it is without a doubt my favorite Romano (maiden name) delicacy & I’m going to share it with y’all today!
From the Dietitian: 1 Large Artichoke is about 76 calories- before it’s stuffed. Filled with antioxidants (silymarin, caffeic acid, & ferulic acid) to protect against free radicals. High in folic acid- anyone pregnant? High in vitamin K (bone health), Vitamin C, B vitamins (niacin, pyridoxine, thiamine, and pantothenic acid) for metabolic health. Also high in minerals: copper (needed for red blood cell production), calcium, iron, manganese, potassium (helps control heart rate/blood pressure by countering effects of sodium)
From the Doctor: Because it’s high in fiber, it helps control constipation (we are blunt here- poop talk is nothin new) and decreases LDL aka bad cholesterol. This in turn helps reduce colon cancer risk!
- 4 Large Artichokes
- 8 Cloves of Garlic, chopped (fresh garlic only- or else the whole thing is destroyed per mama Romano)
- 1 Cup Seasoned Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs
- 1 C Grated Locatelli Cheese (Grated Parmesan/Romano cheese. This can be substituted for vegan cheese)
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- With a large knife, cut off tops of artichokes, about 1 inch, also cut off the stems (but save these for later!)
- With a scissor, cut off the tips of each petal of the artichoke, gently spread leaves apart and rinse under cold water.
- Place artichoke upside down on counter to drain excess water
- Take artichokes, one at a time, and stuff with garlic between the petals- to taste (I love garlic, so I am a bit aggressive with it)
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper (for those on a low sodium diet- use Mrs. Dash Italian Medley or Garlic and Herb blend)
- In a small bowl, mix bread crumbs and grated cheese.
- Lightly stuff breadcrumb mixture in between petals as well- do not pack down
- As you finish stuffing each artichoke, place it in a large pot (pot should be large enough to fit all 4 artichokes side by side)
- Add stems to pot that were cut off earlier (some people like the boiled stems- I’m not a fan but the weasel loves them and they are filled with lots of good stuff for ya)
- When all four artichokes are stuffed and placed in pot, sprinkle one more time with salt (or Mrs. Dash) and pepper. I use very little and a lot runs off into the pot- that’s why we sprinkle lightly twice!
- Drizzle each artichoke with olive oil
- Fill pot with enough water to cover about HALF way up their side (you don’t want to go too high – because the idea is to just overall steam the artichoke. You don’t want it to be so high when it starts boiling all the stuffing comes out. A small amount will always run off no matter what and that’s ok!)
- Bring water to a boil; then reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 2 hours.
- Check on artichokes occasionally to see if more water needs to be added to keep water level at the same height- you don’t want it to get too low or the artichokes could dry out and burn (heaven forbid!!)
- Artichokes are done when petal is easily removed and “meaty” part of petal is tender
Note: If you have never had an artichoke you scrape off the stuffing of each petal one by one. You don’t eat the entire petal. Once I get towards the middle of the artichoke and the petals are mostly gone- I take off the remainder of the artichoke (which is stringy and prickly) & eat the bottom- this is our FAVORITE part (see below). The heart of the artichoke yum (this part doesn’t have any stuffing on it but boy is it yummy!!! Soak up those vitamins and deliciousness everyone!!!