Quinoa-Pistachio Stuffed Artichokes
Artichokes, are actually the large flower of a plant in the thistle family, and are a fun and hearty vegetable choice during the “shoulder season,” before Spring is in full bloom. This unique recipe features many ingredients that can be tweaked to meet individual dietary concerns—for example, for those who need to eat gluten-free, omit the breadcrumbs and add more lentils and quinoa. No matter how it is adapted, this recipe is a fresh, green, and impressive Mediterranean diet-inspired main course, suitable for both a weeknight dinner or a holiday table.
4 regular artichokes
¾ cup quinoa
¾ cup cooked beluga or french lentils (leftover is fine)
¾ cup breadcrumbs
3 tsp. chopped fresh basil
¼ cup grated pecorino
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. oregano
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. anchovy paste (optional)
1 tsp. lemon zest (zest of ½ a lemon)
¼ c. chopped fresh parsley
½ c. chopped pistachios
3 T. olive oil
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- Rinse quinoa for at least 30 seconds to remove the bitter outer coating. Soak quinoa in very hot water for at least 20 minutes, and strain.
- Prepare the artichokes: Cut off the stems and remove the tough lower leaves. With a sharp serrated knife, trim about an inch and a half off the top of the artichoke, and snip the jagged tops of the remaining leaves. Rinse well in cold water.
- In a mixing bowl, gently combine all the filling ingredients.
- Over the mixing bowl, stuff the artichokes by spooning the filling into each leaf, starting at the bottom of each artichoke, and mound the filling over the top, packing tightly.
- Place the artichokes right side up in a large pot, and add water to cover the bottom inch of the artichokes.
- Bring the pot to a simmer over low heat and cover. Cook over low heat for 40 minutes, or until the artichoke hearts are tender (use a sharp knife inserted into the center of the artichoke to test this).
- Serve warm, dressed with olive oil, pistachios, parsley, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.