Gorgonzola Stuffed Artichokes

Posted on Apr 28, 2013

Artichoke season is here! I look forward to this season every year.

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Growing up, my family always served whole artichokes with melted butter to dip the leaves and heart in. In recent years, however, I learned a new way to enjoy artichokes: stuffed with a sinful amount of gorgonzola cheese (thanks for Giada de Laurentiis). It’s not often that I indulge in this much cheese at once, but trust me. This recipe is worth it.

First you must prepare the artichokes. Cut off the stem so that the artichokes can stand upright on their own. Some people also suggest cutting off the prickly tips of the leaves. I usually don’t do this and just try to be cautious when handling them. If serving guests, it might not be a bad idea.

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Bring a large pot to boil with just enough water in it to cover the artichokes about half way. Add a few lemon slices to the water, add the artichokes and steam/boil them for at least 40 minutes to an hour (depending on how big the artichokes are). When  you can easily pull a leaf off, they’re done. Drain them and set them aside to cool. You can do this step the day before, to save time.

Now to clean the artichokes. Once they’re cool enough to handle, open up the center leaves until you can see the little tiny purple leaves. Keep prying open the big leaves but don’t remove them! There’s a lot of meat on those leaves. Once you reach the tiny purple leaves, pull them out. At this point you’ll see a hairy substance (called the choke). The heart is underneath the choke. Gently scrap off the choke and discard. This is what your artichoke will look like at this point:

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And this is what the choke looks like. Don’t eat this:

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Now to prepare the stuffing, mix together:

about 8-10 ounces of Gorgonzola cheese*

2 tablespoons of half and half or heavy cream

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon of fresh or dried thyme

1 tablespoon of fresh parsley

a pinch of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper

Stuff this inside the artichoke (it should rest between the leaves and sit on top of the heart).

Bake the artichokes, uncovered, in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.

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To eat, dip the leaves in the cheese and use your front teeth to scrap off the meat from each leaf. Once you get through all of the leaves, the wonderful heart will be at the bottom of the cheese, just waiting to be devoured.

*Not big on gorgonzola? My mom isn’t either. She’s tried this recipe using many different kinds of cheese and has yet to find one that melts as well as the gorgonzola. Goat cheese is doable, but it won’t be as creamy.

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