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Artichokes are abound at the farmers market this time of the year, therefore, this is the best time to make dolmeh! The large artichokes are certainly very inviting. I am always amazed that many people don’t really know how to eat fresh artichokes or how to cook them. In fact, many are simply familiar with the canned or preserved in oil artichokes. My Italian step father always makes delicious stuffed artichokes with a delicious combination of breadcrumbs, mint, and garlic. I think that artichokes  are complemented perfectly by mint, with parsley coming in a close second. What I love about this recipe is simply alternating between eating the flesh on the petals and the stuffing.

Just like most stuffing recipes, this is one is a bit time consuming, but final product is well worth the labor!

Ingredients

4 large artichokes
1/4 lb ground beef (or turkey)
1/4 cup onion
1 garlic clove
1/4 cooked basmati rice
1 cup parsley
1/2 cup mint
1/4 cup chives/scallions
1 tsp advieh
1 lemon
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
olive oil
salt & pepper

Sauté garlic and onion in some olive oil until translucent. Add ground beef, season with salt and pepper. Sauté until cooked through. Add rice and advieh then mix well.

Rough chop herbs and add to the meat and rice mixture. Set aside.

The next step is to clean and prep the artichokes in order to stuff them. Cut a lemon in half and keep it close.

With a pair of scissors cut the top pointy portion of the bottom petals. Immediately rub half of the lemon all over the cut petals to prevent them from turning black.

With a sharp knife carefully cut the top 1/3 off of the petals. An easy way to do this is to cut as you slowly roll the artichoke towards you. Immediately rub the same half a lemon all over the cut portion of the artichoke.

With your thumbs press the middle petals towards the outer petals to create a hole in the middle of the artichoke.

With the help of a spoon remove the thinner middle petals.

Remove the fuzzy middle portion of the artichoke being careful not to scoop out the heart.

Once all the artichokes are ready, cut the bottom stem so that each artichoke stands up straight. Then peel the stem and rub with lemon.

Before stuffing artichokes find a pot where they all fit and stand up straight in a nice and snug manner.

Depending on how large the artichokes are add 1/2 to 1 cup of water to the pot. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and season with salt.

Rub a small amount of salt all over the inside of the artichoke, then load with stuffing. Press down stuffing so that it won’t fall out.

Add stems to the pot along with the artichokes. Cover the pot and cook on medium until each artichoke is fully cooked. Depending on the size of the artichoke this might take anywhere from 45 minutes to one hour. Make sure to check on the artichokes so that the liquid does not evaporate. Add more water as necessary. My artichokes took about one hour. Half way through I added another half a cup of water. The artichoke is cooked when the pulp at the bottom of each petal is soft.

 

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