By Filomena “Mena” Castriciano
In Italy, my family loved the flavor of stuffed artichokes. Even my daughters love the flavor of this dish. It’s a holiday favorite!
Artichokes, 6 medium (not large)
Fresh bread crumbs, 4 cups
Romano cheese, 1 ¼ cup
Garlic, 2 cloves, chopped very fine
Italian parsley, 3 tablespoons, chopped
Oregano, 1 teaspoon
Black pepper, ½ teaspoon
Eggs, 3 large, whisked with a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons cold water
Water, 4 cups reserved from boiled artichoke water
Olive oil, 1 ½ cup (reserve ¼ cup for bottom of deep casserole dish)
Cut the tough stem off the bottom of the artichoke, remove hard outer leaves. Cut off top section of artichoke (about 1 inch) to make a flat surface. Cut off bottom so that it will set flat. Rub with lemon juice to prevent darkening.
In a large pot, boil the artichokes in salted water for 35 minutes, drain and let cool.
How to prepare seasoned bread crumbs: In a large bowl, add Romano cheese, garlic, parsley, oregano, and black pepper. Carefully fill artichokes with bread crumb mixture — ½ cup seasoned mixture for each artichoke. If there is any leftover mixture, drizzle on top of each artichoke. Place in deep casserole dish so they fit tightly together.
Mix 2 cups water with ¾ cup olive oil (whisk together quickly). Drizzle mixture evenly over artichokes (to moisten). Take the other 2 cups of water mixed with ½ cup olive oil, and drizzle around the artichokes, filling the bottom of the casserole dish.
Cover with foil and bake at 375˚ for 30 minutes. Check after 15 minutes to make sure there is enough water in the bottom of the pan. (Take the remaining juice in the bottom of the pan and distribute over top of the artichokes). If water has evaporated, add an additional 1 cup of water to the bottom of the pan.
After 30 minutes, take the foil off. Whisk the eggs; add pinch of salt, and 2 tablespoons water — take a fork and poke into each artichoke gently, making holes for the egg mixture to absorb. Drizzle egg mixture with water over each artichoke. Bake again, uncovered until crusty, about 15 minutes. Serve hot as a vegetable, or at room temperature as an appetizer.
Makes 16 servings.
Tip: If artichokes are large, you may need more bread crumb mixture.
Submitted by Filomena “Mena” Castriciano of Roma Bakery, Deli & Fine Foods from her new book Cooking with Mena.
Tags: artichoke, garlic, Italy, recipe, stuffed, stuffing