Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Quinoa Stuffed Artichoke Hearts

These stuffed artichokes take a little bit of work but the end result is not only nutritionally well-balanced but a feast for the eyes and taste buds. Serve as the main entree with a fresh green salad or share one as a protein-packed side dish. Either way they make for a special addition to any celebratory dinner. 

Most of the your time will be spent removing the fuzzy center of the artichoke to make way for the quinoa stuffing. You won't need any snazzy kitchen gadgets; a melon baller or grapefruit spoon will get the job done. Once you've accomplished the choke removal, the rest comes together quickly.

  • 2 artichokes
  • 1.5 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup good quality vegetable broth
  • 2 tsps red wine vinegar
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • Small handful of parsley, chopped
  • 5-6 fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • Himalayan salt and pepper to taste

  • 2-3 TB crumbled Feta 
  • 2-3 TB scallions, chopped
  • Handful of spinach, chopped
  • Lightly topped with parmesan cheese right before serving

For fabulous photographed and detailed instructions on preparing the artichokes for stuffing visit Chef Kelly Meyer's website For presentation purposes you may wish to apply a bit of lemon juice on the cut leaves of the artichoke to prevent browning although it's not necessary. While you're working on the artichokes, cook the quinoa according to package instructions.

Place the prepared artichokes into a saucepan, fill with 1-2 inches of water. Cover and steam for 20 minutes or until tender crisp. Remove and invert the artichokes on a kitchen towel to drain.

While the artichokes are cooling, mix the vegetable broth, red wine vinegar, tomato, garlic, pine nuts, parsley, mint leaves into the quinoa while still warm. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly and fill the artichokes with the quinoa mixture. Depending on the size of the artichokes you may have some leftover stuffing - that's fine, it's tasty on it's own!

Return the artichokes to the saucepan, replenish the water and steam for another 40-45 minutes. 

Serve warm or cold. Pull the outer leaves away to use as a scoop for the filling or dip in your favorite oil with cracked pepper and balsamic vinegar. As you near the center, a knife will come in handy to eat the best part of the artichoke  - the heart!  

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