Artichoke bottoms stuffed with meat (ardeeshowkeh bel-laham)

dup mehshi artichokeArtichokes are making a timid entrance already with greengrocers (Winter has been totally absent this year in Lebanon); artichoke bottoms are available frozen (at all Middle-Eastern grocers in the US imported from Egypt) or in jars in mainstream supermarkets; however, the taste of fresh artichokes is way superior, and the leaves make a fun appetizer dipped in an olive oil and lemon dressing. Once boiled in water, the artichokes leaves are dipped in dressing and sucked dry and the bottoms cleaned-up for stuffing. 

INGREDIENTS: 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 bag of frozen artichoke bottoms or fresh artichokes, about 12 large ones
  • 1 cup oil (can be olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup almond slices or pine nuts, fried in oil till golden, drained and set aside on paper towels, to use as garnish
  • Stuffing: 1/2 pound ground meat
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • salt, black pepper or seven-spice seasoning, to taste
  • 2 small lemons, juiced (can replace with vinegar or verjuice)
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup of water

dup fresh artichokeFresh artichokes sold in Lebanon often have their offspring attached.

1. If using fresh artichokes, place in a pot with lots of water and a squirt of lemon juice; boil for 40 minutes or so until tender; if using frozen bottoms, do the same but for only 5 minutes (read package instructions). Drain the artichokes well keeping 2 cups of the water; pluck the leaves and set aside for a fun snack; remove the fuzzy filling from the bottoms with a spoon. Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the bottoms for a few minutes until golden; drain again on paper towels and place the bottoms in an ovenproof dish. 

fry bottom

place dish2. Meanwhile, heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a large skillet and fry the onions till softened and golden; add the meat and spices and brown. Scoop out the stuffing with a spoon (or a cookie dough scooper) and place on each artichoke bottom. Add 2 cups of the artichoke water to the skillet (in which the meat and onions were fried) and bring to a simmer; add the cornstarch previously dissolved in a bit of tap water; stir until the sauce thickens a bit, and add to it a squirt of lemon; taste and adjust seasoning and pour the sauce all around and over the stuffed artichoke bottoms. Insert the dish in a 325F oven prior to serving by 20 minutes or so and serve warm with rice on the side if desired. 

blog artichoke bottoms w:meat

NOTE: Feel free to add mixed frozen veggies to this stuffing, which would add color and taste. Diced carrots or peppers would work as well. Use the fried nuts as a garnish.

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11 Comments

  1. Posted March 5, 2014 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    A wonderful dish and tasty combination!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. Posted March 5, 2014 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Joumana, this looks really good. We’re still wading in puddles and heavy rain here, but California artichoke season is just around the corner. Merci!

  3. Posted March 5, 2014 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    I am vegetarian..and love this artichoke recipe minus the meat..what would you suggest for another filling other than meat..
    thanx

  4. Joumana
    Posted March 5, 2014 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    @Margaret Leon: this recipe is delicious with cubed veggies, peas, carrots, corn, and onions; first boil or steam the veggies and pan-fry them in oil then add herbs like dill or parsley.

  5. Posted March 5, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE artichoke bottoms, and the stuffing here sounds just delicious!

  6. Posted March 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    I had only canned artichokes before…those stuffed fresh ones look wonderfully delicious and beautiful.

  7. Posted March 5, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Don’t find those readily here, though love this combination!

  8. Posted March 5, 2014 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    I dearly love artichokes and eating the bottoms after teething on the leaves is like the grand reward. It would be hard to save them for another use :). Right now they are still very expensive here. When they are better priced I would love to try this!

  9. Posted March 5, 2014 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Love stuffed artichokes! This looks wonderful.

  10. Posted March 5, 2014 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    So nice to hear from you :-) just love artichokes and this is a great way to enjoy them. BTW next liver post I do talk about the mezzes look.

  11. Posted March 13, 2014 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    I cannot tell you how much I love artichokes… and filled with meat…. oh my!

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