from Vegan Yum Yum

2 artichokes
1-2 lemons, for prepping
for the stuffing:

2 c breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat panko style)
4-5 tbsp fresh chopped herbs (she used marjoram and so did I)
1/3 c chopped sundried tomatoes, oil packed
1/4 tsp salt
black pepper, to taste
olive oil
for the broth for steaming:
3 c water
1 vegetable bullion cube (I used 1/2 to 1 tbsp Rapunzel vegetable broth powder)
3-4 lemon slices
1 bay leaf
black pepper

Prep the artichokes: Remove the bottom few rows of leaves with a knife. These are the toughest and can be discarded. Remove the stem of the artichoke, so it can stand upright. Rub the bottom with lemon juice. Slice the top inch or so off. It’s okay if it’s not perfectly flat. Rub lemon on the cut edges to prevent discoloration. Cut the tips off any leaves that still have their points. They have sharp bits on the end that you want to remove before eating. Gently spread the leaves apart with your fingers to expose the center. Sometimes the center leaves are purple, or sometimes a delicate yellow. Remove the leaves, scraping them out with a spoon. The sharper the edge, the better off you’ll be. If you have a melon baller, use that. (That’s what I used. It was still challenging. Deep breaths!) My 1/2 teaspoon measure worked better than a regular spoon (says author Lauren Ulm). Now you should see the top of the choke, the fuzzy part you don’t want to eat. Use your spoon to scrape out the fuzzy bits until you reach the smooth surface of the heart. Be careful not to remove too much of the heart, as that’s the best part of the artichoke! Take your time, and be sure to squeeze lemon juice down in there while you’re working. While you’re prepping the ‘chokes, let the finished ones sit in a bowl of cold lemon water (in a glass or steel bowl; aluminum is reactive with artichokes, I learned at Vegan Yum Yum).

Toss all of the ingredients for the stuffing together, save the olive oil. Then, drizzle the olive oil into the stuffing until just moistened.

Fill the center cavity of each artichoke with stuffing. Use the remaining stuffing in between the leaves of each choke. Spread the stuffing out as evenly as you can, stuffing in as many leaf crevices you can get into.

Place broth ingredients in the bottom of a dutch oven large enough to fit the artichokes. Set them inside, making sure the broth level only covers an inch or so of the bottom of the artichokes. Simmer, covered, for 30-45 minutes, until the leaves are tender and can be removed with a gentle tug.

Preheat the oven to 350F, and bake the steamed artichokes for 10-15 minutes until the stuffing is crispy and browned. Serve immediately. Makes 2 large artichokes.

Vegan Yum Yum to the rescue again! Seeing all of the beautiful artichokes at the market caused me to seek out a recipe, and being labor intensive like an artichoke can be, I looked to Vegan Yum Yum, my favorite trusty simple recipe source. I’ve never used marjoram by itself, so I was curious. It was really mellow and a little sweet. Basil would also be really good in this recipe. It took about 30 minutes to prepare my artichokes, but I think it might be easier next time. I had a hard time telling how many leaves I was supposed to remove from the inside! Basically I stopped when the leaves started to have the “flesh” on the bottoms of them- the part that you scrape off with your teeth to eat. If you are unfamiliar with the artichoke and how to eat it, be sure to check this out. Her photos are really super, and were extremely helpful in prepping my artichokes.
The only thing I’d change? The amount of breadcrumbs! I think just one cup, perhaps 1 1/2  would do just fine. Toward the end of the stuffing process I found myself sifting out the marjoram an sundried tomatoey bits of stuffing to use, leaving a lot of breadcrumbs behind. Super tasty. Thank you again, Lauren.
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