Margherita is my Southern Italian mother-in-law who, in typical fashion, took over our kitchen during her recent visit. She made Lucanian specialties from the little-known Italian region tucked in the arch of the Italian boot: Basilicata. We brought home a case of artichokes and got to work cleaning and trimming them (here’s how) while discussing the many dishes we would make.
Margherita described the recipe completely differently from how she made it. While we were cooking she found ingredients that she didn’t want to waste – so in the bowl they went. I’ve written the typical recipe, but you can see from the pictures that you can improvise by adding a handful of this or a pinch of that (salumi, or cubed cheese)- as Margherita often does in all of her cooking.We used the extra-wide pressure braiser for this recipe, but you can absolutely use the common stockpot-type pressure cooker and stack the smaller artichokes in a second layer of stuffed artichokes over the gaps of the artichokes in the layer below.
|Pressure Cooker||Accessories||Pr. Cook Time||Pr. Level||Open|
|5 L or larger||none||5-7 min.||High(2)||Normal|
- 6-8 medium artichokes, trimmed
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups stale bread cubes
- 1 cup hard grating cheese like Pecorino, Grana or Parmigiano Reggiano, divided
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- After cleaning and trimming the artichokes, place them open-end down on a cutting board and open them up by doing a pushing and twisting motion.
- Flip the artichoke around and stretch the bud open - this is a good time to remove the choke if there is one- Make sure the base of each artichoke is flat and then toss back into the acidulated water until ready for stuffing.
- Prepare the pressure cooker with one cup of water, and trimmed artichoke stems if using. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the bread crumbs, half a cup of the grated cheese (reserving the other half for later), salt, pepper and nutmeg. Break up two eggs and add to the mix.
- Using your hands squeeze everything together until the filling becomes a homogenous mixture. If it is too dry and crumbly, sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons of water (or milk) and continue mixing until some of the mixture can stay into a shape (and not spring back to bread cubes) when squeezed together.
- Holding the artichokes over the mixing bowl, stuff each one generously and then place each into the pressure cooker.
- When all of the artichokes are in the cooker carefully sprinkle the top of each artichoke with the remaining grated cheese and finish with a swirl of olive oil.
- Close and lock the lid. Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker reaches pressure, lower to the heat to the minimum required by the cooker to maintain pressure. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes at high pressure.
- When time is up, open the cooker by releasing the pressure. Remove each artichoke carefully using tongs, and serve with stems (is using).