Artichokes! It’s that time of the year again. Since last year, I’ve been buying whole artichokes, not only the bottoms, and enjoying stuffing them with various ingredients.
This time, I decided to stuff them with peas and shrimps. The peas, which tend to appear all around the year in the west, are a seasonal delicacy. So it becomes a family sport to shell kilos of them for freezing. I often see a woman or husband and wife or a mum and a kid or bearded manly men sitting around the table and shelling the peas outside small restaurants.
In my house, peeling garlic and shelling peas or nuts is hubby’s job. I would then freeze some to use for the next few months. It might sound tedious but it’s quite relaxing and even romantic when you do it together!
While hubby was working at the peas, I prepared the artichokes. I usually trim them before boiling but this time I boiled them first before scraping out the hairy choke with a spoon. I think it was easier this way so I’ll stick to this method. Don’t throw away the stems. You can trim out the tough outer part and add the core to the stuffing.
While the artichokes are cooking (about 20 mins), make the stuffing, which is a mixture of peas, green garlic, and shrimps. I lightly seasoned it with oregano and fresh parsley as artichokes are so delicate.
When the artichokes are cooked, place them on a strainer upside down and reserve the liquid in which they are cooked. You’ll add it to the stuffing later.
I stuffed the leaves with a semolina mixture since I didn’t have breadcrumbs. I mixed semolina with Parmesan cheese, olive oil, Dijon mustard and lemon. It will stick to the leaves when cooked, so when you eat them, it acts like a dip.
It is a trick to tempt people to eat them. Without it, hubby won’t bother trying to get the little meat out of the leaves.
Then, fill the centre of the artichokes with the stuffing and sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese. I had some prawns in the freezer so I placed them on top just for presentation.
Now place them in a baking dish and pour some of the reserved liquid over the artichokes and bake at 200’C for 10 mins.
Now it’s time to slowly work towards the artichoke heart. It’s worth the anticipation, right? In Turkey, people usually stuff artichokes with rice or meat as mentioned in the previous post. But I thought it would be a nice alternative and very Mediterranean.
We didn’t plan to drink that evening but in the middle of eating, I felt like a glass of nice crisp white wine, which we didn’t have at home. I gave hubby a wink asking him to get a bottle from just around the corner but he kept saying, ‘Really?’ while holding an artichoke leaf, one after another, between his teeth.
In the end, we ate without wine. How sad…. It would have been nice with a glass of cold crispy Pinot Gris or Sancerre or Turkish Emir…. As the weather is getting warmer, I’ll need to stock up some white wines.
Happy weekend to all!