The artichoke is one very misunderstood vegetable. How to eat it always comes to mind…but once you figure it out, no holiday table is complete without it, either as a side dish, or as an appetizer.

We never eat them as an appetizer, although I know there are a number of restaurants that feature them as such.

However you choose to eat them, they’re definitely a treat.

But work!

First there’s the fine art of picking an artichoke. You have to make sure that it doesn’t have a tight center and that it’s squeezable to the touch.


5 medium sized artichokes.

Minced garlic

2 large cans of College Inn Chicken Broth (just enough to cover the artichokes)

3 cups Panko Bread Crumbs.

1 tablespoon olive oil

Grated cheese

Salt and pepper


How to prepare the artichokes:

First cut the stems off the artichokes and make them as flat as possible. Then cut a quarter inch off the top layer of the artichoke, making the leaves as flat as possible.

Then, take off the first layer of leaves since these are the toughest to eat.
Snip the points off the remaining leaves.

Now here’s the fun part…opening the artichoke in the center.

Never easy, until Uncle Frankie taught us a trick.

Take the artichoke, turn it upside down facing the counter and bang it once good and hard. Then turn it back over, place your thumbs in the center and pull apart with your thumbs gently so that you can see the bloom in the center.

Take a teaspoon and remove the bloom and the fuzzy part surrounding it… just enough so that you can practically see the heart.

Place the artichokes in a pot and cover the artichokes in chicken broth figure a quarter to a half inch above each one.

Mince your garlic (use a whole clove…the more the merrier)…place the garlic in the broth, cover it and let it cook till you can softly insert a knife through the heart of each artichoke.

When each is tender, remove and let cool on the side. Take your chicken broth and strain it and put this on the side as well.

Preparing the stuffing for the artichokes:

Take 3 cups Panko breadcrumbs, a handful of minced parsley, half cup grated cheese of your liking, the minced garlic from the broth, a quarter cup of the broth you used to boil the artichokes in, and one tablespoon of olive oil.

Mix it with your hands, and if you need to moisten it more, use a tad more broth.

Stuffing the artichokes:

Stuff the first layer of leaves and the center of the artichoke generously with your stuffing and place each artichoke in a lasagna type baking tin.

Repeat with the rest of them.

Put about a half inch of the broth you used to boil the artichokes with in the bottom of the tin.

Sprinkle more cheese over each artichoke.

Cover and bake at 300 degrees till warm through and through. Periodically baste with chicken broth to keep moist if you plan on keeping them longer in the oven.

Ray’s note:

When eating the artichokes, pick off each leaf and place the meaty part of the leaf against the bottom ridge of your teeth scraping the meaty part of the leaf off. As you get down to the center of the artichoke, the leaves will get softer so that you can eat the leaves whole.

Once you get down to the heart, you’re in heaven.

Caution: You will invariably miss some of the prickly pieces in the cleaning process. Don’t eat them…they don’t go down easy.