I have a confession...artichokes are tearing my family apart.
Ok well maybe that was a bit dramatic but...my family is definitely at odds over whether artichokes are delicious freaks of nature or have a taste that resembles grass, except not as good. In the one corner is my Italian mother, who grew up on artichokes and considers the perfect start to a meal to be artichokes hearts and the perfect end to a day eating stuffed artichokes. In the other corner, standing for Irish men around the world, is my father, who grew up eating questionable meat in shepherd's pie and who's favorite type of meat until he was a teenager was Spam. Not that I have anything against Spam. In fact, if you're ever in Nashville, there's a bar downtown that sells the best fried spam sandwich. But I digress.
My brother and I fall in the middle of this spat...but definitely side with my mother. My mom actually tricked my dad so badly--believe it or not, their bed has artichokes on the four posts. No joke. She told him they were upside down pineapples, but they're not. They're artichokes. (Sorry for ruining the secret Mum!)
Anyway, my mother makes THE BEST stuffed artichokes. My mom, brother and I can sit and each eat 3 in one sitting. My dad, on the other hand, can't even watch us eat them. Oh well...his loss.
Italian Stuffed Artichokes
4 large artichokes
2 cups soft Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper
1. Using a sharp knife, cut the bottom of each artichoke so it can sit upright. Then, using kitchen scissors, snip off the tips of outer leaves.
2. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, garlic, seasonings and olive oil; mix well. Gently spread the artichoke leaves apart and fill with the breadcrumb mixtures.
3. Stand artichokes in a Dutch oven; add 1 in. of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until leaves near the center pull out easily.
Let me know YOUR opinion on artichokes!