Vegetarian Stuffed Artichokes
Stuffed artichokes, another one of the myriad greek stuffed veggies; uncommon and for particular taste buds but a MUST for the lovers of artichoke! Serve at room temperature for a Saturday lunch with feta and a slightly fruity white wine.
6 tsp rice
3 tbsp spring onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
3 tbsp fennel or dill finely chopped
7 tbsp olive oil
1/2 kg of fresh, ripe and grated tomatoes or 1 small tin of whole plum tomatoes
sugar to taste
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp of flour
6 small potatoes, optional
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
How to Clean the Artichokes
1. Cut off the stalks from the base of the artichokes so that they can sit in a saucepan. 2. Remove 3 or 4 rounds of the outer leaves.
2. Slice about 2.5 cm off the top of the leaves and scoop out the furry center, which is above the heart. There should be enough room to hold the filling.
3. Place them into a bowl of water with lemon/baking soda/ parsley so that they don't become too brown.
4. Remove the external, fibrous layer of the stalks and place them in the bowl along with the artichokes.
For the filling
1.Combine the rice with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, fennel or dill, spring onion and plenty of salt and pepper, depending on how much seasoning you prefer.
2. Fill the artichoke centers with the mixture.
3. In a saucepan, combine the tomatoes with the remaining olive oil, salt, pepper, sugar, and enough water to reach half way up the artichokes when they are added later. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
4. Carefully arrange the artichokes on the base of the pan and add the stalks. Cover and simmer over very low heat for about an hour, covered.
* If potatoes are used, they should be added half way through the cooking time.
5. To serve, arrange the stuffed artichokes, stalks and potatoes on a platter and pour over the tomato sauce.