Gluten Free Italian Stuffed Artichokes (Baked or Steamed) (Dairy or Dairy-Free)

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My Sicilian grandmother used to make artichokes stuffed with seasoned breadcrumbs. I can’t remember her exact recipe but I definitely recall the flavors. I experimented until I achieved those same wonderful Italian flavors, even with my dairy-free version. You can make this with or without Parmesan and taste all of the flavors of Italy.

Gluten Free Italian Stuffed Artichokes

With all of the flavors of Italy, you can impress your guests with this authentic gluten free Italian stuffed artichokes recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 large artichokes
  • 1/2 cup plain gluten free bread crumbs (4C)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or half margarine - Smart Balance or butter), plus more oil for drizzling
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil (or parsley)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 large cloves garlic grated, minced, or crushed
  • 1/8 teaspoon  salt or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions

To Prepare the Artichokes:

  1. Rinse the artichokes under cold running water. Make sure the water gets in between the leaves, too. Shake off any excess water and place on a cutting board. Remove the tough leaves at the bottom, usually one or two rows, and discard. Slice off the bottoms so that the artichokes can stand up nicely on a flat surface. Slice the top off up to the tips of the bottom leaves.

To Make the Seasoned Breadcrumbs:

  1. In a bowl, toss together all of the remaining ingredients, basil, thyme, garlic powder, fresh garlic, salt, and Parmesan cheese, if using.

  2. Preheat a skillet with oil or oil and butter/margarine. Once heated, add the breadcrumb mixture and toast over medium to medium-high heat until nicely golden brown. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

To Bake in the Oven:

  1. Blanch the artichokes by boiling a large pot of water. Add the artichokes and cook for 5 minutes. Push the artichokes under the water often to keep them submerged. Set aside upside down to drain.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF with a shelf placed in the center.
  3. Open up the artichoke by pushing the leaves outward. Spoon the breadcrumbs between the artichoke leaves. You only need a little bit that will usually fall to the bottom of the artichoke. That's where you will pull the meat off of each leaf along with a few breadcrumbs. (Though not traditional, I like to save about 1 teaspoon of breadcrumb mixture per artichoke to add a little bit to the top once it is fully cooked. The cooked mixture will soften much like stuffing. So, a little crunchy topping not only tastes good but looks nice as well.)
  4. Drizzle the top with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil per artichoke.
  5. Pour 1-inch of water into a baking pan. Place the stuffed artichokes in the water and bake for 1 hour.

To Make on a Stovetop:

  1. Open up the artichoke by pushing the leaves outward. Spoon the breadcrumbs between the artichoke leaves. You only need a little bit that will usually fall to the bottom of the artichoke. (That's where you will pull the meat off of each leaf along with a few breadcrumbs.) If desired, you can save about 1 teaspoon of breadcrumb mixture per artichoke to add a little bit to the top once it is fully cooked. The cooked mixture will soften much like stuffing. So, a little crunchy topping not only tastes good but looks nice as well.
  2. Drizzle the top with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil per artichoke.
  3. Fill a saucepan with 1-inch of water and bring to a boil. Place the artichokes in the water, cover, and simmer until tender, 45 - 60 minutes, depending on the size of the artichokes. Taste one leaf to test for tenderness.

To Serve:

  1. Remove from the water and set aside to drain. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tips

Hearty Variation:

A favorite variation is to double the recipe for the breadcrumbs and remove the center of the artichoke by simply pulling out the tender pinkish leaves. Do not carve out the bottom heart. It's the best part! This version is also hearty so that you can use this recipe as both a vegetable and side dish.

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