Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Ricotta and parsley stuffed artichokes

"After all the trouble you go to, you get about as much actual "food" out of eating an artichoke as you would from licking 30 or 40 postage stamps." - Miss Piggy

True enough. But the small amount of edible artichoke heart you find in each artichoke is delicious. And, globe artichokes are beautiful to look at. As a result, when I passed them recently at our local market, they soon found their way to the centre of the dining table.

Artichokes are actually a thistle. Globe artichokes are picked before they flower, but the flower buds are inside the artichoke. Referred to as the choke, this part is inedible and needs to be removed. For advice on preparing artichokes, including a demonstration on how to remove the choke and the inedible outer leaves, see You Tube.
Once the artichokes are prepared, there is very little work in this dish. It’s fresh and simple. It would make the perfect lunch, side dish, or entree, at a dinner party.  

(serves two)
4 globe artichokes
4 tablespoons fresh ricotta
Juice of once lemon
Handful of chopped parsley
Ground black pepper
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic (I used smoked garlic, but you can also use unsmoked)  

Step 1. Prepare the artichokes, removing the outside leaves and the choke. Rub with lemon juice once they are prepared, to prevent from browning. Cut the artichokes in half and lay on a roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil generously. Roast at 180C for 10mins, with the grill on if possible.

Step 2. While the artichokes are roasting, mix the ricotta, finely chopped parsley, lemon juice, and chopped garlic in a bowl.   

Step 3. Remove the artichokes from the oven. The artichokes will hve begun to chargrill, with the thin leaves darkening. 

Step 4: Spoon the ricotta mixture into each artichoke half, dividing evenly among the segments. Add another generous drizzle of olive oil. Place back under the grill for 10 minutes. 


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