This recipe has been in our family for a very long time, not having traveled here so many years ago in a family cook book but forever written in the mind of a young woman traveling distant miles to start a new life in a country she had only heard about.
My mother would often make this just as she had been taught by her mother back in the old country. She would mix in some cooked rice or short pasta with the peas to complete the meal.
It wouldn’t have made any difference what she added because it was one of my least favourite things to eat, unable to bring myself to swallow the peas. She would eventually give in and allow me to have a bowl of plain rice or pasta for dinner instead.
History repeated itself when I spared my children the same horror of swallowing green peas and tackling this strange looking vegetable set upon their plate. I’m not sure if any of them have eventually acquired a taste for this dish or perhaps deleted it from their memory altogether.
I don’t know exactly when the change occurred but I have grown to enjoy both peas and artichokes alike. Coincidentally my least favourite colour used to be green and I’m not quite sure if there is a connection but I have also come to appreciate the various shades of the colour green as well.
After looking for different recipes for stuffed artichokes this particular one seems to be unique since I have not found one similar up to this day. Thanks to my mother I have learned several different ways of turning this member of the thistle family into some tender, sweet dishes.
From the simple preparation of steamed artichoke hearts dressed in a light olive oil and lemon dressing to these stuffed artichokes served with peas this interesting vegetable can be truly enjoyed.
Once the leathery outer leaves with their sharp barbs are removed the heart of the matter is revealed which is truly versatile and delicious.
Stuffed Artichokes with Peas
These are approximate measures and the recipe can easily make two servings as well as a dozen. It can be served as a main dish when adding the rice or pasta or as a vegetable side without. It also depends on the size and number of artichokes you have how much filling to prepare. The measurements listed below are the amounts used when preparing the recipe for this posting.
Preparation of Artichokes
- Peel off tough outer layers of artichokes until you reach the tender light coloured leaves.
- Cut stem off close to bottom of artichoke making sure it will be able to stand up on its own.
- Prepare a bowl of cold water and lemon juice or slices to place cut artichokes into to prevent browning.
- Cut off tough upper portion of artichoke and immediately place into bowl filled with water and lemon.
- Place a pot of salted water on the stove,when it comes to a boil add cleaned artichokes and cook for about five minutes to soften.
- Remove artichokes from water and drain upside down to remove any water.
- While still warm spread the leaves open a little and fill with prepared filling.
- Set aside.
Egg and Bread Stuffing
For every slice of soft bread used you will need:
About ¼ cup grated cheese (crotonese, parmigiano or your favourite grating cheese)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 to 2 teaspoons chopped Italian parsley
1. Coarsely grate bread (freezing slice for a few minutes makes
grating easier or use a food processor.)
2. Beat the egg well then mix in remaining ingredients.
3. Allow mixture to rest a few minutes until moisture is absorbed,
4. Makes approximately 3/4 cups of stuffing.
about 2/3 of a 750 gram bag of frozen peas
one medium onion (finely chopped)
¼ cup corn oil
Salt and pepper to taste
- Add oil to a wide bottom pan or skillet.
- Add finely chopped onion and sauté just until softened.
- Add the peas and seasonings and stir around just until the peas begin to defrost.
- Make as many little wells among the peas as you have artichokes then place each artichoke into one of the wells.
- Push the peas up around the artichokes to ensure that they remain upright.
- Add enough water to cover the peas, cover with lid slightly ajar to let steam escape.
- Cook until peas are tender and stuffing has set.
Notes, Tips and Suggestions
- Medium and small size artichokes are best for this recipe.
- One batch of above filling will be enough to fill approximately 4 to 5 medium artichokes, two batches were made to fill the 10 small artichokes made for this posting.
- Cook rice or a short pasta separately and mix in with the peas for a main course.