The Veggies of Spring
I don’t know about you, but I am like a whole new person when the cold weather subsides and we start to see the first signs of spring. In the city, I know spring is on its way when I see the beloved fruit carts start to pop up around town. Gosh, how I missed those. More importantly, I need to move my focus onto the new seasonal foods and some spring menu ideas. With spring, comes some of my favorite vegetables – asparagus and artichokes. When I was a kid, my Italian grandmother used to make stuffed artichokes and from a very early age I looked forward to artichoke time. And as a kid, any time you can eat food with your hands, that is a major bonus.
This recipe is pretty close to my grandmother’s. They are best served with a nice salad and a grandmother bellowing “Eat! Eat!” in the background. So go ahead, Eat!
Also note – dealing with artichokes is tricky so this video offers a great step-by-step instruction for us novice stuffed-artichoke makers. Click here.
For more ideas on spring vegetables, check out this month’s Bon Appetit.
- 6 whole artichokes
- 3 slices Italian bread, cubed
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- salt and pepper to taste
- Snip the pointed tips of artichoke leaves, and cut off the stems. Wash and drain. Holding artichoke firmly by base, firmly rap the top of it on a hard surface; this will open it so it can be stuffed.
- In a medium bowl combine bread cubes, garlic, parsley, Romano cheese, oregano, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, salt and pepper; mix well.
- Press about 1/2 cup of stuffing into each artichoke. Tightly pack stuffed artichokes together in a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven. Add enough water to reach half way up artichokes and add 3 tablespoons oil.
- Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour, or until leaves pull out easily.