A few weeks ago, I put out a request to my followers on my Instagram profile to give me input on the types of recipes they’d like to see here on pinabresciani.com. I received many cool responses like requests for an eggplant parmesan recipe, chicken cutlets, more salads, pasta sauces that are not made with tomatoes, and even a request for my favorite way to prepare rabbit! For the record, I’ve eaten rabbit before (it’s definitely an Italian thing), but have never prepared it myself (I leave that up to my mom and nonna to do).
But one of the responses was from my cousin Lili who requested a post on a fresh artichoke recipe. I responded with something like “that’s nice Lili, but I’ve never prepared artichokes before! I have no idea what I’m doing!” I think I had never made artichokes before because they intimidated me. I wasn’t familiar with them. I like artichokes, but I would eat the artichoke hearts marinated in olive oil that came from a glass jar that you buy in Italian grocery stores. That was the extent of my experience with artichokes. Never had I dealt with or cooked with fresh ones!
But Lili was nice enough to offer that we make them together. So we got together one afternoon to prepare the fontina, parmesan and garlic-roasted artichokes. Lili did all the research on how to actually clean and properly cook them (thank goodness for supportive family!), and we got to work.
In the end, they were so delicious! And you know what? They weren’t that difficult to clean and prepare! I don’t know why I was so intimidated. So in the end, I’m glad that Lili made the artichoke suggestion, and I’m glad that it pushed me out of my comfort zone. Plus I got to enjoy some time with my cousin and drink some white wine together. An afternoon well spent, I would say 🙂
So tell me, have you ever done anything that was out of your comfort zone? How did it turn out for you?
And here’s the recipe for the fontina, parmesan and garlic-roasted artichokes:
Fontina, Parmesan and Garlic-Roasted Artichokes
- 2 medium-size fresh artichokes
- 4 garlic cloves, cut into thin slices
- 1.5 cups grated fontina cheese
- 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- olive oil (for drizzle)
- salt and pepper to taste
Clean the artichokes by removing outer leaves, cutting off the hard part of the stem, cleaning the stem, and cutting off any spiky parts of the leaves. Cut the artichoke in half and remove the choke with a spoon.
The video in the recipe notes explains this cleaning/cutting process nicely.
Place a steaming basket in a pot with water in it, and let the water come to a boil so you can steam the artichokes.
While the water is coming to a boil, place garlic slices between the leaves of the artichokes, I used about one clove of garlic per artichoke half.
Once water is boiling, place artichoke halves face down in steaming basket and steam the artichokes with the lid on for 20 minutes, until artichokes are tender.
In the meantime, you can preheat your oven to 400°F.
Using tongs, remove artichokes from steaming basket. Add a mix of fontina and parmesan between the artichoke leaves, and stuff the crevice with cheese where the choke was removed. Drizzle artichoke with olive oil.
Place artichokes face up on a baking sheet and bake them in the oven for 10 minutes, until cheese is melted.
Remove artichokes from the oven and sprinkle with salt (if desired) and black pepper.
Enjoy your artichokes!
I used a similar method to this video to cut/clean my artichokes, except instead of cutting the artichokes into quarters as the video shows, I cut them in half.
The cheese amounts to stuff the artichokes with are the amounts I used- but I like my artichokes really cheesy! So if this seems like too much cheese for you, feel free to add less.