I needed a vegetable to go with my Middle Eastern Lamb shanks. Stuffed artichoke hearts came to mine as a good and tasty solution. However, after gentle criticism of my tapas dinner, I have tried to move away from my overpowering urge to stuff meat into vegetables.
Of course in researching for this dish, I found I was hardly alone in having this propensity. Nearly every recipe I found—worldwide—included stuffing artichokes hearts with some kind of meat— anchovies, beef, clams, crab, eggs, ham, lamb, pancetta, turkey—or cheese. For this dish, I was accepting Miriam’s challenge of stuffing vegetables with vegetables.
After Dinner Note: While these artichokes were good they were a bit dry. If I make this dish again I will probably serve it with a yogurt sauce, like tzatziki.
Karl’s Middle Eastern Stuffed Artichoke Hearts
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup Crimini mushrooms, diced
½ cup green onion, minced
¼ cup, toasted pine nuts
½ cup fresh bread crumbs
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbs. lemon juice
8-10 artichoke hearts, frozen
¼ cup vegetable or chicken broth
3 sprigs flat-leafed parsley
1. Preheat the oven to 400º F.
2. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan, over high heat, and spread the mushrooms in a single layer.
3. Leave the mushrooms undisturbed for 2 minutes.
Tip: Stirring the mushrooms around knocks the moisture out of them and prevents the mushrooms from browning.
4. Stir the mushrooms briefly and let them cook for another minute or two.
Tip: By now at least two sides of the cubes will be browned and most of the internal moisture will have evaporated.
5. Continue sautéing for 3-4 minutes, until sever sides of the mushrooms are well browned.
6. Stir in the green onions and pine nuts.
7. Continue cooking until the onions are wilted and the pine nuts are starting to get spots of browning, about two minutes.
8. Stir in the bread crumbs, pepper and salt.
9. Continue sautéing for another minute and then remove from the heat.
10. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the stuffing.
11. Fill the caps of the still frozen artichoke hearts with the stuffing.
Tip: A single bag of frozen artichoke hearts (8-12 caps) will have many sizes—small, medium and large.
12. Place the hearts on a Pam-ed lipped baking tray.
13. Spoon the broth over the stuffing in reach of the hearts.
Tip: One teaspoon for the small caps and as much as a tablespoon for the largest caps.
14. Bake the hearts for 10-12 minutes, until the artichoke hearts are heated through.
Tip: The frozen artichokes are already precooked so they do not really need further cooking to become tender.
15. Transfer the artichokes to a serving plate and garnish with the parsley sprigs.