Artichoke bottoms stuffed with meat (ardeeshowkeh bel-laham)

March 5, 2014  • 

Artichokes 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. 

 

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.

Comments

12 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Rosa says:

    A wonderful dish and tasty combination!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. tom | tall clover says:

    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. Margaret Leon says:

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

    • Joumana says:

      @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.

  4. Oui, Chef says:

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

  5. Angie says:

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

  6. Belinda @zomppa says:

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

  7. Susan says:

    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!

  8. Velva says:

    Love stuffed artichokes! This looks wonderful.

  9. evelyne says:

    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.

  10. Nuts about food says:

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

  11. Marilyn says:

    Easy to make when living abroad! 🙂
    Will check the rest of your recipes hopefully you have molokhieh

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