Hey, how’s it going? I’m busy, busy over here getting ready to launch my seasonal cleanse. Very exciting. Since Spiro and I are eating a vegan diet for lent, I’ve been very creative with my cooking. I love artichoke hearts and use them a lot in my cooking and salads. I haven’t however ever prepared a whole artichoke. Well, when I went shopping, I thought, what the heck, why not pick a couple up and make stuffed artichokes. Since I try cooking with the healthiest ingredients (bread crumbs not being one of them), I thought about stuffing them with quinoa. So, I came up with this quinoa stuffed artichokes recipe. I figured since I was making them, I may as well record the process. If they came out good, that would be awesome. If they didn’t come out good, I’d share the learning experience on how not to cook stuffed artichokes. Enjoy! And let me know if you ever tried making them yourself.
For your entertainment, I created a video of the recipe below. Enjoy!
2 medium artichokes
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
3 fresh broccoli crowns
1/2 small zucchini
3 cups basil
3/4 cup parsley
3 garlic cloves
3/4 cup of olive oil (you may need more or less depending on how much basil you used)
Optional: 1 inch chunk fresh parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
Place 2 cups of water and quinoa in a rice cooker and cook until it’s done (machine shuts off automatically.) If using a pot on the stove, boil the water then add the quinoa and cook according to directions.
Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice through a tiny strainer into a small bowl. The strainer will catch the seeds. You will use half of the juice to soak the artichokes and the other half in your pesto.
Cut about 1/2″ to 3/4″ off the top of the artichoke. Cut the bottom stem off so that the artichoke can lay flat on a surface. Cut the other end of the stem off and peel the stem (you can eat it, so you will want to steam it with the artichokes). Pull out the purple center, being careful not to go too far down because that’s where the meaty heart is. Cut all the pointy ends off of each leave so that you don’t poke your tongue when you go to eat them. Once you’ve cleaned and cut your artichokes, soak them in a bowl of water with 1/2 of the lemon juice.
Peel the garlic
Wash and towel dry your basil. Pick the leaves off the stem. Do the same with the parsley.
Pesto: (If you don’t want to make the pesto, go ahead and use store bought.) Throw the basil, parsley, garlic and the remainder of the lemon juice in the food processor along with about 1/4 cup of the olive oil (if using sun dried tomatoes or parmesan, you would add it here too. If I’m using the pesto in a dish that I’m cooking on the stove top, I don’t add the cheese until the dish is done cooking. I find if I add the cheese in with the pesto – it sticks to the bottom of the pan.)
Keep checking the consistency and add more olive oil as needed.
Finely chop the broccoli and zucchini so that it’s like very small rice granules.
Take 1/2 cup of the broccoli/zucchini and mix it with one cup of cooked quinoa. Add 2 tablespoons of the prepared pesto. You want the pesto to spread evenly through the mixture, so add more as needed.
Take the artichoke and stretch the leaves out so they pull away from the center. Drizzle olive oil in between the leaves. Stuff the center with the quinoa stuffing and steam for about 40 to 45 minutes. The artichoke should be fork tender when it’s done.