I grew up eating my grandmother's stuffed artichokes; where each leaf was generously filled with bread crumbs seasoned with herbs and Parmesan cheese. They were delicious but quite time consuming to make. Recently I came across a recipe of Emeril Lagasse's for stuffed artichokes where only the center of the artichoke was filled. Talk about a time saver, this recipe cut the preparation nearly in half. Not only were they quicker and easier to make, but Emeril used a whipped seasoned ricotta & salami filling which turned out to be much tastier than the seasoned breadcrumbs.
The next time you need a hearty vegetable appetizer, don't shy away from stuffed artichokes out of fear they are too time consuming, instead give these fluffy ricotta filled chokes a try. As I'm sure you know by now I get as much produce as possible at Whole Foods Market, they have a wonderful selection of organic local fruits and vegetables that I just love.
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Ricotta & Salami Stuffed Artichokes
(adapted from Emeril Lagasse)
2 medium whole artichokes, steamed until tender and cooled
1/4 pound fresh Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese
1/4 pound or less salami, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt/Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Drizzle a shallow baking dish with olive oil. Slice the steamed artichokes in half, lengthwise (including the stem). Remove the choke. Place the artichoke halves, heart side up, in the prepared pan. Season with salt and pepper.
In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, pecorino, salami and parsley. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Fill the cavity of each artichoke with the cheese mixture.
Drizzle the artichokes with olive oil. Place in the oven on the top rack and bake until golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot.
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