1 March 2011

Stuffed artichokes

 Figure 1: Home-made stuffed artichokes.

This is a time consuming dish but well worth doing when artichokes are in season.  This is my mother's recipe.

1 kg artichokes, outer leaves removed (you need the artichoke hearts for this recipe)
2 carrots, finely chopped
½ cup of peas
½ cup onions, finely chopped
a bunch of dill, finely chopped
2 tbsps of pine nuts, ground in a mortar and pestle
2 tbsps of rice
salt and pepper 
¼ cup of olive oil

 Figure 2:  First you will need to prepare the artichokes.  For this you will need a large bowl of water, some salt and the juice of about 2 lemons.  Keep the lemons once you have juiced them and add them to the bowl of water.  This prevents the artichoke hearts from going brown.  Once you have prepared the artichoke hearts, you can leave them in this lemony, brine mixture whilst you cook the stuffing.

Figure 3:  Add the oil to a large frying pan and once the oil is hot add the chopped onions and cook over a moderate heat until the onions turn colour and become soft. 

Figure 4:  Then add the finely chopped carrots.

Figure 5:  Add the peas.

Figure 6:  Add the ground pine nuts.

Figure 7:  Add the finely chopped dill and salt and pepper.

Figure 8:  Add the rice.

Figure 9:  Add enough water to cover the ingredients and bring it to the boil then put a lid on, turn off the heat and let it cook with the residual heat for about 15 minutes.

Figure 10:  This is how the stuffing will look once it has cooked. 

Figure 11:  Once the stuffing has cooled, spoon it into the empty artichoke hearts.

Figure 12:  Gently place the stuffed artichokes into the frying pan being careful not to knock the stuffing out of them.

Figure 13:  Add the left-over stuffing to the frying pan and add enough water to cover the artichokes half-way and bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 45minutes or until the artichoke hearts are cooked.

Figure 14:  This is what it will look like after about 45 minutes once the artichoke hearts have cooked.

Figure 15:  Serve either at room temperature or chilled. 
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