- Artichokes 4
- Stale breadcrumbs 60 gr
- Parsley 1 bundle
- Pecorino cheese 30 gr
- Garlic 1 clove
- Salt as much as it is needed • 1 kcal
- Black pepper as much as it is needed
- Extra-virgin olive oil
Stuffed artichokes without meat are an excellent vegetarian course prepared with a filling of bread, parsley and garlic. The recipe of these artichokes is very simple, without meat or eggs, and they can also be served as an appetizer. This filling is very versatile, it can be used to fill any type of vegetables, from mushrooms to peppers, to zucchini, and if you do not add the pecorino cheese it will become perfect even for a vegan dish. There are several variations of the stuffed artichokes, such as the Roman one in which there is a filling of breadcrumbs and spices, or the Sicilian one in which the filling is enriched with the anchovies. In the recipe that I propose you, the artichokes are blanched and stuffed before being cooked au gratin in the oven. The artichokes I used are a typical variety of March, the so-called "mammola", which have a round shape that is very suitable to accommodate a filling, and they also have very fleshy leaves.
How to Prepare the Stuffed Artichokes without Meat
Clean the artichokes by removing the outer and hardest leaves, and by cutting the ends with a knife. Continue to clean the artichokes by cutting the stems and keeping them aside (1). Put them in a bowl with water and lemon (2) for a couple of hours. Rinse them and then boil them in acidulated water with a few tablespoons of lemon juice for 15 minutes. Drain the artichokes when they are softened, dig the inside with the help of a knife to remove the thorny part of the artichoke heart, and then place them upside down to let them drip (3).
Chop the artichoke stems (4) in the blender. In a bowl place the stale breadcrumbs, the cut parsley, the minced garlic clove, and the minced stems (5). Add the grated pecorino cheese (6), salt, pepper and a drizzle of oil.
Amalgamate the ingredients with a spoon (7). Then widen well the artichokes in the center, place them tightly in a baking tray and stuff them with the filling (8). Sprinkle them with a drizzle of oil and a bit of water to prevent them from sticking together during cooking and bake your stuffed artichokes (9) in a convection oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes. Take the artichokes out of the oven when they are well au gratin on the surface.
Before cleaning the artichokes, I suggest you to rub your fingers with lemon, to make sure that your hands do not blacken. Alternatively you could use gloves, so you would also avoid pricking yourself with the outer leaves.
To remove the thorny side of the artichoke, you can use a sharp knife or a corer.
To enrich the filling, just be creative: you can add chopped thyme and grated lemon peel. Moreover, to give an extra touch, you can also add raisins and pine nuts.
You can replace the pecorino cheese with parmesan cheese, or you can add some fiordilatte cheese cut into small pieces to the filling.
Sicilian stuffed artichokes
The Sicilian stuffed artichokes are prepared with a filling of breadcrumbs, parsley, capers and anchovies, and then they are cooked in a baking tray. Heat for a few minutes in a small saucepan 50 grams of breadcrumbs with a bit of oil and a clove of garlic. Turn off the heat and add a tablespoon of chopped capers to the breadcrumbs, and also 4/5 salted anchovies and parsley. Stuff the cleaned and blanched artichokes as indicated in the recipe, then bake them for 30 minutes at 180 degrees.