2 gigantic globe artichokes stuffed and steamed in glass bowls with white flowers around the bowls.

Best Italian Stuffed Artichokes

June 2, 2019

Mom’s Best Italian Stuffed Artichokes recipe is the one and only recipe you will ever need to make tender and delicious whole stuffed globe artichokes that celebrate the spring harvest. (Stovetop and Instant Pot/pressure cooking instructions included)

Best Italian Stuffed Artichokes / https://www.hwcmagazine.com

Closeup shot of cooked breaded stuffed artichokes sprinkled with a little extra parmesan and fresh parsley in a glass bowl.

One delicious bite of the aromatic garlicky parmesan stuffing and tender artichoke and you are going to be hooked! Whether you share this delicious treat as an appetizer, side dish or as main your family and guests are going to be impressed. With their beautiful stuffed leaves in a geometric pattern, it is like a work of art on the table.

3 whole globe artichokes on a wooden crate fresh from the farmers market.

Getting in the Spring Spirit

Spring time is a very festive time for our family. It means new beginnings, cleaning, sorting, organizing, planting a garden and enjoying the spring harvest and farmer’s markets to its fullest. Some of our favorite spring vegetables are leeks, asparagus, peas and artichokes. Be sure to try our Stove Top Parmesan Leek Frittata or Sautéed Asparagus and Mushrooms with Poached Eggs for brunch and our Stove Top Chicken Bacon Casserole with spring peas for dinner. If you love artichokes as much as we do, be sure to try our Lemon Artichoke Chicken Pasta (AKA Chicks and Chokes).

Close up of gigantic whole stuffed and steamed globe artichokes sprinkled with a little extra parmesan and fresh parsley in a glass bowl surrounded by white flowers.

Tribute to Mom…

When my sisters and I were young, we enjoyed “Stuffed Artichoke Sundays”. This was a special bonding time we had with our parents. Mom would spend the afternoon puttering in the kitchen preparing her Best Italian Stuffed Artichoke recipe and other treats. This Best Italian Stuffed Artichoke recipe was passed on to mom from her Italian parents and her grandparents.

On these special days, we did not sit down to a traditional family dinner but instead our entire family set up TV trays around our black and white television. We enjoyed the endless delicious bites of Mom’s Best Italian Stuffed Artichokes while watching the Lawrence Welk show or the Ed Sullivan Show. After one small bite of Mom’s Best Italian Stuffed Artichokes, I was teleported right back into time.

Artichokes gatting stuffing placed inside the leaves.

One of my fondest memories was how mom would always keep a close eye on me as I would eat her stuffed artichokes. I was the youngest in the family. Mom would stop me instantly as soon as I came upon the purple leaves that indicated I was close to the choke and heart of the artichoke. She would quickly take my artichoke to the kitchen where she would quickly remove the choke and trim it down so that only the tender and succulent artichoke prized artichoke heart would appear. This is the best part and a memory I will always cherish.

3 artichokes stuffed on a bamboo cutting board ready to be steamed.

My dear Aunt Bonnie wrote me a letter this week and she said, “When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.” It is certainly not easy losing a parent but knowing that she is safe in heaven with my father brings me comfort. Today we are going to celebrate mom’s 92 years of life through her cooking.

Collage showing each of the 8 steps for cleaning and preparing a whole artichoke to prepare to stuff.

How to Clean a Fresh Whole Artichoke

  1. Wash the artichokes.
  2. Cut the stem off the bottom of your artichokes so that it will sit level on the table. Set stems aside.
  3. Rub the bottom of your artichoke with the halved lemon and sprinkle on the lemon juice to prevent oxidation.
  4. Remove the bottom 2-3 rows of artichoke leaves with your hands. They should snap off easily.
  5. Next use a sharp pair of culinary scissors and trim off the pointed edge of the leaves (about ¼ inch). The purpose is that this can be picky when you eat it, so you want to remove them. Rub lemon all over artichokes to prevent oxidation.
  6. Then set your artichoke on its side and use a sharp knife to trim off the top leaves about 1 inch off the top. Leave the choke inside. Do not remove. Peel the artichoke stems.
  7. Rub lemon all over artichokes and stems to prevent oxidation.
  8. Next take your artichoke and gently stretch the ends of the artichoke to make room for the Italian stuffing.

One artichoke leaf peeled off the whole artichoke showing the stuffing inside and the tender artichoke.

How to eat a whole stuffed artichoke

Start by peeling the outer leaves off and one by one place the leaf in your mouth and scrape the tender stuffing and artichoke meat off between your teeth. This should keep you out of trouble for a while as there are about 4 layers of leaves to work through.

If you remove the leaves and they start getting light in color and they have a purple edging - STOP. You are now close to the choke. Do not eat this part. Instead, get a spoon and scrape off the purple and light-colored leaves and prickled choke. Because the steaming softens this area it will scrape off very easily. Throw the choke and choke leaves away and all you will have left is the prized artichoke heart.

The artichoke heart is tender, rich and delicious. It should slice easily with your fork. Enjoy.

3 stuffed artichokes on a bamboo cutting board ready to be steamed.

Using the Instant Pot or Pressure cooker to steam artichokes

You can certainly use your instant pot or pressure cooker to steam artichokes. After you clean, drizzle with lemon juice, prepare and stuff your Best Italian Stuffed Artichokes, put the lid on, lock and set to steaming (High pressure) for 9 – 12 minutes depending on how large your artichokes are. Do NOT use the quick release steam function. Instead, use the natural self-release method as this will continue to cook your artichokes. We had 3 large globe artichokes in our 6-quart instant pot. We set it for 11 minutes for 3 large stuffed globe artichokes and they were perfectly tender. We used the natural release for the steam method.

3 steamed and cooked artichokes in a bamboo steamer basket.

Using the traditional method to steam artichokes

You can also steam your artichokes the traditional way on top of the stove top. All you need is a pot wide and deep enough to fit all your artichokes that has a lid that fits snuggly on top. We have used a bamboo steamer on top of a pot of water. You can also use a steamer tray inside a pot. In addition, we have also done the steaming method with two chopsticks on the bottom of a wok with a plate on top.

If your still in a puzzle on how to steam your artichokes, you can also find a pot with a lid that fits snuggly and just place enough water on the bottom so that artichokes bottoms are in about 1.5 inches of water and let your artichokes be standing in the water and cook. All of these methods work well. However, be mindful of the steaming process as you may need to add additional water to your pot during the steaming process.

3 extra large globe artichokes on a dark wooden box with the stem facing towards you. They are whole and just home from the farmers market.

How to choose the best whole artichokes

Did you know there are several different breeds of artichokes? However, these breeds are split into two different categories. There are elongated and globe artichokes and there are several different types under these two categories.

Whichever type you choose, be sure to pick your artichoke that feels heavy and solid. The lighter weight ones are older. The leaves should be thick, tightly closed and vibrant deep green color. The leaves should squeak when you rub them together. Do not buy or pick artichokes that have opened, dry or split leaves.

We used globe artichokes for this recipe as they are truly beautiful and round and make for a gorgeous centerpiece.

Artichokes prepped and ready in a bamboo steaming basket.

Can you eat the stem of an artichoke?

Don’t throw away the stems of the artichokes. You can eat the stem after you peel it and steam it. Actually, this is one of my favorite parts as it tastes similar to the artichoke heart. Waste not - want not!

3 artichokes cleaned and in a bamboo steamer basket.

How long do fresh artichokes last?

Fresh picked artichokes can last 5-7 days in the refrigerator in a baggie. Do not wash them or put water on them until you are ready to use them. Cooked Best Italian Stuffed Artichokes can last 3 days in the refrigerator in a sealed container. I would not try to freeze them as it would make them soggy. Best Italian Stuffed Artichokes can be eaten at room temperature or hot. As mom would always serve them at room temperature, this is my preferred way.

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2 gigantic globe artichokes stuffed and steamed in glass bowls with white flowers around the bowls.

Best Italian Stuffed Artichokes

By HWC Magazine  , , ,   

June 2, 2019

Mom’s Best Italian Stuffed Artichokes recipe is the one and only recipe you will ever need to make tender and delicious whole stuffed globe artichokes that celebrate the spring harvest.

  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yields: 3 extra large artichokes (serves 6)

Ingredients

Toasted Bread crumbs – 2 cups

Sicilian spice blend – 2 teaspoons (We used Mie Radici’s Sicilian Spice blend)

Garlic – 4 cloves

Extra virgin olive oil – 6 tablespoons (We used Mie Radici’s Norcellara Organic Reserve EVOO)

Parmesan cheese – 1/3 cup freshly grated

Parsley – ¼ cup minced finely

Salt and pepper to taste

Artichokes – 3 large whole globes (our artichokes were 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter, absolutely huge)

Lemon – 1 whole fresh cut in half

Directions

1Make the stuffing: In a medium bowl combine toasted bread crumbs, Sicilian spice blend, fresh minced garlic, extra virgin olive oil, parmesan cheese, minced parsley and salt and pepper to taste. (You can also use the pre-mixed Italian toasted bread crumbs and skip the Sicilian Spice Blend) Set Aside.

2Wash the artichokes. Cut the stem off the bottom of your artichokes so that it will sit level on the table. Set stems aside. Rub the bottom of your artichoke with the halved lemon and sprinkle on the lemon juice to prevent oxidation.

3Remove the bottom 2-3 rows of artichoke leaves with your hands. They should snap of easily. Next use a sharp pair of culinary scissors and trim off the pointed edge of the leaves (about ¼ inch). The purpose is that this can be picky when you eat it, so you want to remove them. Rub lemon all over artichokes to prevent oxidation.

4Then set your artichoke on its side and use a sharp knife to trim off the top leaves about 1 inch off the top. Leave the choke inside. Do not remove. Peel the artichoke stems. Rub lemon all over artichokes and stems to prevent oxidation.

5Next take your artichoke and gently stretch the ends of the artichoke to make room for the Italian stuffing. Gently pull back each leaf and spoon in a little stuffing in each leaf and a little extra stuffing on top. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil on top.

6Stove Top Steaming Method: Find a pot that is wide and deep enough to hold your artichokes that has a tight-fitting cover. You can either use a steaming basket inside the pot, a couple of chopsticks crisscrossed with a plate on top, steamer oven technology or a bamboo steamer. Place enough water on the bottom of the pot so that it comes up to 2 inches up the side of the pot. Put the lid on your pot and steam your Best Italian Stuffed Artichokes for about 25-30 minutes or until a knife easily pierces the heart of the artichoke on the bottom. Your time to steam will depend on the vessel you are using and also the size of your artichokes. (Please note, keep a close eye on the water level in your pot. You may need to add more water during the steaming process. Don’t let your pot go dry)

7Instant Pot/ Pressure Cooker Method: After you clean, drizzle with lemon juice, prepare and stuff your Best Italian Stuffed Artichokes, add one 1.5 cups of water to the bottom of your instant pot. Place the basket that came with your instant pot in the instant pot. Put your stuffed artichokes on top of the basket and put the lid on and lock. Set the instant pot to steaming (High pressure) for 9 – 12 minutes depending on how large your artichokes are. Do NOT use the quick release steam function. Instead, use the natural self-release method as this will continue to cook your artichokes. We had 3 large globe artichokes in our 6-quart instant pot. We set it for 11 minutes for 3 large stuffed globe artichokes and they were perfectly tender. We used the natural release for the steam method.

8Your Best Italian Stuffed Artichokes can be served warm or at room temperature. Best enjoyed within 3 days. Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

9How to eat your stuffed artichokes: Start by peeling the outer leaves off and one by one place the leaf in your mouth and scrape the tender stuffing and artichoke meat off between your teeth. This should keep you out of trouble for a while as there are about 4 layers of leaves to work through. If you remove the leaves and they start getting light in color and they have a purple edging - STOP. You are now close to the choke. Do not eat this part. Instead, get a spoon and scrape off the purple and light-colored leaves and prickled choke. Because the steaming softens this area it will scrape off very easily. Throw the choke and choke leaves away and all you will have left is the prized artichoke heart. Your artichoke heart should be so tender that you can cut with your fork. Enjoy! Chow!

10Chef's Notes: If you want to make gluten-free, then use gluten-free bread crumbs. If you want to make vegan, exchange parmesan with nutritional yeast.

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Nutrition Facts

Serving Size1/2 large artichoke
Calories210
Sodium167 mg
Potassium404 mg
Protein5 grams
Sugar1.6 grams
Total Fat14.8
Total Carbohydrates18. 2 grams
Dietary Fiber6.1 grams

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