Sicilian Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms
From Small Bites
Makes 6-8 pieces
Prep time: 45 minutes (if you’re starting with whole artichokes, 5 minutes if you’re using frozen)
Total Cooking time: 25 minutes
6-8 globe artichokes (I used a bag of frozen artichoke bottoms– 14oz/400g)
Juice of 3 lemons (only need one if you're using the frozen bottoms)
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
6 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
1 tsp each salt & pepper
4 tbsp water
1 cup homemade breadcrumbs (I like Panko crumbs)
1 tsp grated lemon zest
3 tsp flat leaf/Italian parsley, chopped
1 tbsp small capers, rinsed
2oz/50g provolone cheese, cut into 6-8 slices
Garnish: lemon zest & arugula
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C and line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy cleanups).
To make your own artichoke bottoms:
1. Peel outer leaves of the artichoke until you reach the pale green, soft part.
2. Slice off the stem. Using a heavy sharp knife, cut away the top ¾ of the artichoke, reserving the bottom.
3. Trim off the hard edges with a small paring knife. Use a spoon to scrape out any remaining inner choke.
4. Place the cleaned artichoke in a bowl of water with 1/3 of the lemon juice.
Note: If you’re starting with prepared artichoke bottoms, just place them in the bowl of lemon water until you’re ready for the next step.
2. Add half the chopped garlic and 3 tbsp oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat and sauté the garlic until slightly golden. Drain the prepared artichoke bottoms, add to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Add the mint, a little salt and pepper, water and remaining lemon juice.
3. Reduce the heat to medium low and cover the saucepan. Cook until the artichokes can be pierced with a knife tip, but not mushy (anywhere from 3-10 minutes depending if you’re starting from frozen or raw, which take longer than the frozen). Remove to the prepared baking sheet.
4. In the meantime, combine breadcrumbs, lemon zest, parsley, capers and remaining garlic, olive oil, salt & pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
5. Putting it all together: Place a slice of cheese on each artichoke bottom and distribute the breadcrumb mixture evenly on top.
6. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and breadcrumbs are toasty.
Serve warm and garnish with lemon zest and arugula sprigs.