Stuffed Artichokes with Olives and Pignoli Nuts

July 8, 2010 by Barb Scala  
Filed under Bloomin in the Kitchen, veggies

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With a large artichoke, this can make a whole meal, especially in the summer.

Artichokes are one of my favorite foods! Pulling each leaf through my teeth to get to the “meat” is worth the effort when the heart of the artichoke is waiting at the end.

I forgo butter and use an olive oil and parmesan cheese mixture as a dunking bath before every bite. And in my kitchen where white flour is off limits, I stick to spelt, sprouted grains or gluten free breads that I grind in a food processor for a healthier bread crumb.

4 artichokes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more to drizzle
1 lemon
2 cups unseasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs or 1 teaspoon dry herbs of parsley, oregano & basil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
8 - 10 pitted kalamata olives chopped
4 tablespoons pignoli nuts, toasted
sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Cut the top off of each artichoke, hollow out the center and remove the prickly tops off of each leaf. Also cut off the stem at the base so the artichokes sit flat. Rub the top and each leaf top with half of a lemon so the leaves don’t  brown. In a large bowl, mix the bread crumbs, almond meal, herbs, olives, pignoli nuts, garlic powder, olive oil, salt and pepper. Stuff each artichoke center with the bread crumb mixture and in between the leaves.

Squeeze the juice out of the lemon into a large pot filled with 1 1/2 inches of water. Place the artichokes in the pot and drizzle extra olive oil on each top. Bring the water to a bowl. Cover the pot, lower heat and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until a knife is easily inserted into the center. Serve with a dunking mixture of extra virgin olive oil and freshly grated parmesan cheese in individual small bowls.

Note: Gluten free bread crumbs can be substituted for regular bread crumbs. I make my own by processing rice bread in a food processor. Another healthy bread crumb alternative (although not gluten free) is to process spelt bread or Ezekial cereal.

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