Stuffed artichoke bottoms
- 1 pack of frozen artichoke bottoms (about 10 pieces)
- 1 cup of rice (I used short grain brown rice)
- 1 cup of frozen lima or fava beans
- 2 eggs
- Harissa hot sauce and marinade
- 1 cup parsley
- 3 cloves of garlic crushed
- ½ lemon juice
- 2 tbsp lemon juice (for the paste)
- ½ medium onion finely chopped
For the sauce
- Bay leaf
- ½ onion sliced
- 2 cups vegetable stock
My technique has evolved over the years and I promise that this one will yield the most flavor while still looking gorgeous. First, bring a pot large enough to fit your artichoke bottoms to a boil. Add a lot of salt, a bay leaf, and some lemon juice. Do not use the lemon rind as this can cause bitterness in the artichoke. Par boil the artichokes so that they are still firm but soft enough to cut through the center. Drain and rinse under cold water. Pat each of them dry and place them in your baking dish.
The filling: In the meantime, cook your rice 90% and let it cool. I used short grain brown rice rather than a silky rice such as basmati because I feel that it is easier to work with and helps with binding. Then, rinse your fava beans and cook the same way as you did the artichokes. The goal is to get flavor into each ingredient before cooking.
The tasty paste: Welcome to flavor town! I use this paste on so many dishes especially in veggie bowls to make them more exciting. In a food processor, blend the garlic and parsley until finely ground. Put the mixture into a bowl, add in the squeezable harissa, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well and add it into the rice and fava beans. Whisk in the 2 eggs to bind the mixture together.
Using a tablespoon, neatly spoon the mixture into the artichoke as seen in the images.
The sauce: Now let’s make the sauce. Slice lengthwise about ½ an onion and gently cook them in a pan. You want to cook them until they become translucent but not turning brown. Add in the bay leaf, vegetable stock and your infused saffron threads (seep them in a bit of hot water for about 5 minutes). Let the sauce simmer for about 15 minutes tasting along the way and adding salt and pepper.
Pour the sauce over the artichokes and cover the baking pan tightly. Bake for 30 minutes, uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes to get some nice color.
Et voila, serve hot or warm and enjoy!