Inspired by traditional Sicilian fare, these rustic stuffed artichokes have been a family favourite for many years. When the kids were young this dish fitted into the category of “interactive eating” – as it entails using your hands to pulling off the steamed and stuffed leaves, dipping them in the sauce and then inelegantly sucking the stuffing off them. Messy but definitely worth the effort as you make your way to the tender artichoke heart – the jewel in the crown. The zesty orange flavoured stuffing and unique artichoke flavour team with the semi-sweet Orange mayonnaise sauce to make a delicious entree that never fails to surprise and delight guests.
Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes
4 fresh artichokes
1 onion finely diced
3 cloves garlic crushed into paste
Olive oil – 2/3 tablespoons to thinly cover base of small frying pan
Half a bunch parsley finely chopped
6 stale slices white bread torn into fresh breadcrumbs
Zest of one Orange
Juice of half an orange
Half a cup whole egg mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
Large heavy, flat bottom pot with lid
4 cups water
Heat oil in small non-stick frying pan
Add onion and cook slowly until transparent
Add garlic paste and cook through with onions for 2-3 minutes
In a seperate bowl make breadcrumbs and then add onion mixture, parsley and orange zest and mix all ingredients well allowing breadcrumbs to absorb the oil and flavours of onion mixture
Cut off stems from artichokes to form a flat base for artichokes to sit in pot
Wash artichokes well, gently spreading leaves without breaking them off, to make room for stuffing mix
Stuff artichokes leaf by leaf working from inside out. The aim is to have a little bit of stuffing on each of the leaves.
Place 2-3 cups water in a flat heavy bottomed pot with a lid and bring to the boil.
stand artichokes flat side down in pot. Water should just cover about 1/4 of the artichokes. You are aiming to steam leaves but have enough water to cook hearts at the bottom.
Cover with lid and allow water to boil on a gentle roll for 25-30 minutes.
In the meantime, mix the Orange juice with the mayonnaise and let stand in fridge agin to slightly thicken again. The consistency will be saucy.
Remove artichokes from water and allow to stand and drain for 2 minutes.
Serve with orange mayonnaise in seperate small bowls for each person. Have a seperate bowl at hand to discard the leaves in as you go!