One of my favorite things to eat are stuffed artichokes! I grew up eating this unusual treat - mom always made artichokes!
An artichoke is a leafy vegetable that is tough and unusual to eat.
Mom always steamed her artichokes before stuffing them, allowing the leaves to soften. When the artichoke is steamed, she stuffs the leaves with breadcrumbs, cheese, olive oil and garlic.
Begin by snipping off the pointy tips of the artichoke leaves. Cut off the stem. Put the artichoke in a pot with salted water and boil for 45 minutes or so, or until the artichoke softens.
While the artichoke is cooking, put 1/4 cup olive oil in a small bowl. Remove the peel from 3 cloves of garlic and allow the garlic to sit in the oil. This will allow the garlic flavor to infuse with the oil, not giving you an overbearing garlic taste.
When the artichokes are soft, remove from the water and stuff with pieces of mozzarella cheese and provel. If you do not have access to provel cheese, you can use provolone or fontina. Add parmesan cheese and Italian style breadcrumbs. Remove the garlic from the oil and drizzle over the artichokes.
Put the artichokes in a 250 degree oven, just hot enough to melt the cheese and brown the bread crumbs.
Now comes the fun part! Remove one leaf, which is full of cheesy goodness.............and scrape it on your teeth! Yes, as you scrape the goodness off of the leaf and with the cheese and breadcrumbs, a little artichoke pulp will be removed from the leaf. Do not ingest the whole leaf. Discard the leaf after scraping off the goodness!
Mom is showing Mai how to eat the artichoke leaf
Tonette and Jerry scarfing them down!
Artichokes have a treat inside......once you have eaten the leaves, you can cut the artichoke open to get the artichoke heart. Beware, artichokes have thistles, or sharp fibers that should not be ingested. Cut those out and inside, you will find the heart. Artichoke hearts are frequently found in pasta, salads and other goodies.
Tonette is cutting out the artichoke heart