Stuffed, Baked Artichoke Bottoms

Romantic lighting or just too dark...?

Am I allowed to say “bottoms” or will I be censored?!  I had to say it because the hearts didn´t really make it into this dish.

Big Man came home the other day with about a dozen artichokes that a pal had given him.  Unfortunately they had been sitting in his truck, with daytime temperatures reaching 34 degrees Celsius for two days.  They were rather sad and dry looking.

I peeled away all the leaves and took out the “choke”, the hairy bit in the middle and then cooked them in water (with a good few spoonfuls of white wine vinegar to stop them going black) until they were almost tender.

I was just going to use them in a salad, but then decided that as they´d had a miserable few days in the heat, I would give them a more dramatic exit!

For the stuffing I used (for 12 artichokes)

  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 6 medium mushrooms and stalks, finely chopped and fried in olive oil with the garlic until soft
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of cream cheese
  • 3 level tablespoons of grated cheese (I used a mature goat´s cheese)
  • Some finely chopped parsley

I mixed all these ingredients together, seasoned with salt and pepper and then spooned the mixture onto the artichoke bottoms which I then placed in a lightly oiled baking dish.

I sprinkled them all with fresh white breadcrumbs and finished with a drizzle of olive oil.

These then went into a hot oven for about 15 minutes (until the breadcrumbs were browned) and I served them with my Spicy Tomato Sauce.  I think they were happy with their finale.

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