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.

Sweet Garlicky Greens

January 28, 2010 by Barb Scala  
Filed under Bloomin in the Kitchen, What's New, veggies

img_1148I use different types of leafy greens for this crowd pleaser. Many recipes do not use the ribs or stems but I can’t seem to throw them away and soften them before the rest of the greens are sauted. Raisins add just a touch of sweetness to this garlicky dish.

1 bunch kale, beet greens or swiss chard (approx 1 lb.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup raisins
salt & pepper to taste

Rinse greens thoroughly. Cut off stems and chop into 1 inch pieces. Coarsely chop remaining greens. In a stock pot, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil, garlic and stems on moderate heat stirring till stems start to soften, careful not to burn the garlic. Add greens, remaining olive oil, salt and pepper and saute until tender. Greens will cooked down as they heat. Add raisins and stir till they are plump and warm (approx. 1 minute). Note: Less olive oil can be used.