Have you made stuffed artichokes? Until today, I never had. We used to get them all the time when we lived in Oak Park. There was one place in particular — a little sandwich/pizza place called Massa in Elmwood Park, IL — that made awesome stuffed artichokes. (They’re still open, but I don’t see stuffed artichokes on the menu. If you’re in the Elmwood Park area and you enjoy panini, I recommend the Giardino (seasoned grilled eggplant & zucchini, roasted red pepper, Portabella mushrooms, provolone cheese, leaf spinach, red onions, Roma tomatoes & basil pesto mayo) no mushrooms of course because mushrooms are gross.
Anyway, we hadn’t had stuffed artichokes since we lived in Illinois, so it’s been what, almost 10 years now. Holy crap I can’t believe we’ve been living in Colorado for almost 10 years. We never found a place in Denver that has stuffed artichokes and they seemed like a total pain in the ass to make, so we just forgot about them.
Until artichokes showed up in our weekly produce bin and instead of swapping them for something else I figured it’s about damn time we tried making stuffed artichokes. So tonight we did and . . . holy shit. Do you ever do that thing where you eat something really, really good and you kind of roll your eyes back into your head and say “Oh my god” several times? Homemade stuffed artichokes might make you do that. They’re exactly as good as the ones you get at a restaurant.
The good news is they’re not bad to make. The trick is to focus on stuffing the center of the artichoke and the outer leaves really well, and be okay with the fact that there will be some leaves in the middle that won’t get stuffed. When you’re eating them, you really won’t care.
As always, I took a shitty iPhone picture of my food.
The other good news is I found a recipe on the internet that’s pretty much perfect from Saveur (here), so I don’t have to sit here and write a new recipe. The only adjustments we made were: add oregano and bake for 60 minutes. Also our artichokes were on the small size but we still used four and had the right amount of filling and we forgot to broil after sprinkling cheese on top, but oh well. We made bread crumbs by baking a few slices of homemade French bread at 350 until dried and then crunching them up using a bowl and a cup mortar-and-pestle style.
If you’ve ever had even the slightest desire to make stuffed artichokes, you should totally do it. So good.