Palermo artichokes

Tasty stuffed artichokes with peas and broad beans

  • Serves 8
  • Easy

Great Dixter's gardener chef Aaron Bertelsen shares one of his recipes each month. This time its for stuffed artichokes

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I have my good friend Juliet Roberts to thank for this recipe, which comes originally from her Slovenian lodger. While I am a firm believer that there is little to beat a whole artichoke, boiled and served just as it is with a good vinaigrette, this combination gives my old favourite a run for its money. And after all, we all need a little variety from time to time. I like to serve these with polenta and mixed salad leaves.

Grow fruit and vegetables in pots book cover

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Ingredients

  • Globe artichokes 8
  • Lemon juice 1 lemon
  • Dried breadcrumbs 100g, Preferably made with sourdough bread
  • Garlic 4 cloves, Finely chopped
  • Flat-leaf parsley Good handful, Chopped
  • White wine 100ml
  • Olive oil Good glug (1–2 tablespoons)
  • Podded broad beans 200g
  • Shelled peas 200g
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Step 1

    Wash the artichokes and remove the stalks – you’re trying to create a stable bottom so they can stand up when you put them in the pan. Put into a large pan of water with half the lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 7–10 minutes for younger chokes, longer for older ones. Test for doneness with a fork: the choke should be firm but soft. Drain. (The cooking liquid is useful as a base for stock/broth or can be drunk for its health benefits.)

  • Step 2

    Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Put the breadcrumbs, garlic and parsley in a bowl with the wine, oil and the remaining lemon juice. Season well with salt and pepper and mix together thoroughly.

  • Step 3

    Place the artichokes upright in a shallow pan, making sure they are packed in snugly. Stuff the breadcrumb mix in between the leaves and also between the chokes themselves, packing it down.

  • Step 4

    Blanch the broad beans in a pan of boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain. When they are cool enough to handle, slip off the outer skins and mix with the peas. Stuff the bean and pea mixture in and around the artichokes.

  • Step 5

    Half-fill the pan with water (so the artichokes are half-immersed) and place over low heat. Partially cover the pan and simmer for about 20 minutes, checking regularly that there is enough water that the chokes don’t burn.
    The breadcrumbs will absorb the water, while the beans and peas steam.

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