Baked Artichokes with Mozzarella and Spinach

Barchette di Carciofi con Mozzarella e Spinaci

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Straight from the south of Italy, this is an awesome entree or side dish. Ideally served straight out of the oven and drizzled with a little olive oil. They are quite a pretty looking artichokes and the way they turn into little containers of tasty goodness is a fun feature. Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

4 large artichokes
150g / 5.3 ounces Mozzarella (diced small)
600g / 1.3lbs spinach (leaves only)
2 anchovy fillets (preferably under salt, not oil)
1 garlic clove
1 cup of vegetable stock
4 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons of parmiggiano cheese (grated)
1 knob of butter(optional)
1 small handful of basil leaves (torn)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper

Method

Preheat the oven at 180 degree C / 355 degree F.

Be sure to remove the stem from the spinach and rinse well, at least twice,  to remove any dirt or grit from the leaves.

Finely shred the spinach.

Remove any excess salt from the anchovy fillets and chop finely together with the garlic. You can also use anchovies under oil.

Gently heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large pan and begin lightly frying the garlic and anchovy. Allow the oil to infuse with the garlic.

Then add the chopped spinach and stir well with the oil, garlic and anchovy.

Season with salt & pepper and add the torn basil leaves.

Prepare the artichokes but leave a little of the stem attached and do not cut the choke. I have also not chopped off the leaves for this one. It presents much better if you keep most of the leaves attached and its’ more fun to eat s well. You must clean the stem that’s attached to the choke by removing all the fibrous, stringy outer skin. The lemon water is not really necessary for this preparation.

Throw them into boiling salted water and remove when just tender. For large artichokes this should be about 12 – 15 minutes.

Allow them to drain well then cut them, with a serrated knife, down the middle lengthways along the stem.

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Artichoke half still containing the hair.

Scoop out the hairy section of the choke with a teaspoon or cut it out with a sharp paring knife. This is now a container. The half artichoke will act as a base holding the cheese and spinach.

Artichoke half with hair removed.

Artichoke half with hair removed.

Remove the spinach from the heat and add the diced mozzarella.

Lay the artichokes out on a baking tray greased with the butter.(optional)

Now spoon in some of the spinach mixture into the cavities you’ve made in the artichokes.

Mix the grated parmiggiano and breadcrumbs together and sprinkle generously on top of the spinach and artichoke.

Pour half a cup of the stock into the tray and bake at 180 degrees c/ 355 degrees F  for half an hour. Mid way through the baking check to see that there is still some stock in the tray. Add the other half up if it has evaporated. Also be sure the breadcrumbs do not blacken.

Once they are done, serve immediatley while the cheese is still melty.

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5 Responses to “Baked Artichokes with Mozzarella and Spinach”

  1. ADRIANO says:

    bellissimo blog , saluti da MILANO-ITALY

    > http://cucinadriano.blogspot.com

  2. mikey says:

    E vai !

  3. Erin Coletti says:

    Ciao Mikey!
    I’m going to make your famous stuffed artichoke dish tonight, so stay tuned for results!

  4. mikey says:

    Hey Mitch,
    Pretty excited to hear from a real live viewer. As for the baby artichokes, if you are confident with the mandolin, go ahead and use it. I would probably be happy enough to use a very sharp knife. You have a little more control with small items. My tip is to have your knifes sharpened professionally occasionally and keep them sharp using a steel or stone in between. I love mandolins, but I only use them for larger quantities and/or when I need absolute regulated thickness. eg. the Artichoke Carpaccio http://theartichokeblog.com/?p=834

  5. Mitchell aka Micione says:

    Dear Michael,
    We think you’re great. We also love Torino and understand exactly why you like it too. We are stuck here in Los Angeles at the moment and have celebrated the new year by making our first insalata of artichoke, porcini, finnochio and parmesan sheets. If only we had received the insight of your blog as a holiday gift, it would have been even better. Do you use a mandoline to slice baby artichokes, and if so, could you please post some tips on doing so? Or please send directly to me. We have a new DeBuyer mandoline and look forward to creating our Milanese insalata di carciofi on it.

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