Artichokes — those gnarly hand grenades of the vegetable world — bring back memories of spring. Artichoke season begins in March and tapers off in summer before it comes back for a second season in September and October. This Mediterranean native of the thistle family has a meaty richness and offers vitamin C, folate, magnesium and fiber (6 grams for a large artichoke).
This recipe — which swaps classic bread crumb stuffing for one made with bulgur and Mediterranean herbs — reminded us of the three important steps to prepping a bulbous artichoke.
- Remove the lower leaves near the stem until the light green ones are visible.
- Use stainless steel kitchen shears to trim the pointy tips of the leaves.
- Trim the stems evenly so the artichokes will stand up straight in the pot.
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
- 4 globe artichokes, stems and pointy leaves trimmed with stainless steel kitchen shears
- 1 cup dry bulgur, prepared according to package directions
- 6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- ⅓ cup parsley, chopped
- ⅓ cup mint, chopped
- 2 tablespoons oil-cured sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Bring a pot* of water, a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons lemon juice to a boil. Add trimmed artichokes to pot and boil 25 minutes. Remove artichokes with a slotted spoon and rinse under cold water. Turn upside down onto paper towels and let drain 5 minutes.
- Heat oven to 400°F.
- Prepare stuffing by combining remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, bulgur, feta, parsley, mint, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and kosher salt.
- Place drained artichokes in a small baking dish, standing on their stems. Divide stuffing evenly among artichokes, filling between leaves.
- Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until golden.
- When picking a pot to boil the artichokes in, use one they fit snugly into. Do not use aluminum or cast iron because these metals will discolor the artichokes.
- To enjoy cooked artichoke petals, pull each leaf through slightly clenched teeth and remove the flesh. You can eat the heart, but steer clear of the fuzzy “choke” underneath.