Artichoke Hearts stuffed with Gorgonzola Cheese
I like artichokes but I am often too lazy to work with them because they take so much labor and such little food comes out of them – as an economist’s wife I have to say that the cost-benefit just doesn’t add up. I end up using canned artichokes a lot more often than fresh ones (an all-time favorite recipe in my household is the Artichoke Dip I posted some months ago) but as always, canned vegetables NEVER can (pun intended!) taste the same as the fresh ones. So when I am feeling adventurous I try some recipe with fresh artichokes and there is nothing like a child’s visit from college to offer one inspiration for an adventurous undertaking. My daughter came home this week for a 4 day trip to help out with her brother’s high school prom party (held at our house) and as a gesture of appreciation, I made Gorgonzola stuffed artichokes for her.
1. 4 fresh artichokes
2. 4-5 ounces of Gorgonzola cheese
3. One teaspoon of sea salt
4. 2-3 tablespoon of Italian style bread-crumbs
5. 5-6 sprigs of lemon thyme (or regular thyme will do as well)
6. 1-2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
7. 2-3 fresh chive flowers for garnish
1. Heat a large pot of water and add the salt to it (large enough to soak the artichokes fully).
2. Cleaning the artichokes is a long-drawn process – start by pulling off the outer cactus-like leaves and also cutting the stem off till the very base of the artichoke.
3. Place the artichokes in the pot of boiling water and cook them for 15-20 minutes.
4. Take the artichokes out of the water and when they are cool enough to handle, using a sharp serrated knife chop of the tips of the leaves of the artichoke (the top needles and any hard part of the leaves should be chopped off because they are inedible). Look at how much of the artichoke is thrown away!
5. Open up the leaves of the artichoke and using a sharp paring knife take out the choke at the base of the leaves (it is the hairy base at the center of the artichoke).
6. With a spoon, stuff the crumbled Gorgonzola into the hollowed inside of the artichoke – about a tablespoon in each artichoke (or more if it is a large artichoke).
7. Sprinkle a few thyme leaves and some Italian bread crumbs on top of the cheese.
8. Place all the filled artichokes on a baking sheet and drizzle a little bit of extra virgin olive oil on each of them.
9. Place the baking sheet with the stuffed artichokes under the broiler for 4-5 minutes (till the cheese melts).
10. Serve the artichoke hearts while the cheese is still hot (and melted) and with a garnish of fresh chive flowers.