This recipe is my mum’s and one stored in my memory bank as a favourite from my childhood.
It is ‘Calabrese’ style cooking (Calabria is in the south of Italy) and, typical of Italian recipes, there are many versions of this dish throughout Italy. In the north, the artichoke stuffing usually comprises of breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, herbs and lemon zest – vegetarian style, but in the south, you have to add some meat!
What I love about this dish is the pleasurable way to eat it and the combination of flavours. You start by peeling off the outer leaves of the artichoke, eating the savoury stuffing and then scraping the juicy flesh of the artichoke leaf – soooooooooooo tasty! You eventually make your way to the end prize – the inner heart of the artichoke which has soaked up all the flavours. It is truly a delicious meal!
It may appear daunting to prepare artichokes (especially if you have never done so before) but it’s not! You just need to take off some of the outer (tougher) leaves, cut the stalk off and cut across the top of the artichoke to make a flat top. Allow the artichokes to soak in salt and red vinegar while you prepare the stuffing. Then it’s just a matter of filling each leaf with the stuffing. Voila` – easy! It takes a little time to cook in the oven (about 45mins), but that gives you time to prepare a side of salad and have a cuppa or coffee!
Click below on my YouTube video demonstration for the easy cooking steps to this recipe.
Artichokes stuffed with beef mince, onion, garlic, herbs, breadcrumbs & parmesan cheese. A traditional Italian (Calabrese) dish that I had growing up!
20 minPrep Time
45 minCook Time
1 hr, 5 Total Time
3 to 5 Artichokes
1 each Brown Onion, finely chopped
2 each Garlic cloves, finely chopped
500g Minced (lean) Beef
1 cup or 80g Breadcrumbs, multigrain (fresh is best)
2 whole Eggs
100g Parmesan cheese, finely grated (Parmigiano Reggiano is best)
½ bunch Flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 springs Oregano, leaves only and chopped
1 spring Thyme, leaves only
Freshly ground black pepper
Red Wine Vinegar
Extra Parmesan Cheese
- Peel off the outer leaves, cut the stalk off and then cut across the top of artichoke to make a flat top.
- Sprinkle sea salt on top of artichoke and through the leaves as well as a good dash of red wine vinegar. Allow this to soak through for about ½ hour. This will soften and open up the leaves of the artichoke – to prepare for the stuffing.
- In a large bowl, add the mince meat, onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, herbs, eggs and seasoning – ground black pepper & little salt. You may need to add a little water or another egg if mixture is too dry (it should hold together well without being too wet).
- Preheat the oven to 180c.
- Turn artichokes up-side-down and shake to drain some of the red wine vinegar. Separate the leaves slightly, then push some of the stuffing in between the leaves – start from the inner leaves and work your way out!
- Repeat this process until all the artichokes have been filled.
- Placed the stuffed artichokes into a baking tray and sprinkle the tops with extra parmesan cheese and a dash of olive oil. Pour cold water into the baking tray – till it reaches half way up the artichokes.
- Cover tray with foil and place in the preheated oven for 40 – 50 mins. Stuffing should be cooked through. Note: After 30-40 mins take foil off tray and place back in oven for 5 - 10 mins to brown the tops.
- Serve with a side salad, roasted tomatoes or vegetables.