Fresh artichokes are all over Middle Eastern markets now. Lovers of the edible thistle enjoy scraping the steamed, seasoned leaves with their teeth and never mind getting melted butter or vinaigrette all over their fingers.
But there are many refined ways of filling artichokes, as we have noted before in our Moroccan stuffed artichoke hearts recipe. And Syrian cooks know just as much about stuffed artichokes as anyone else. In this recipe, the flavors of lamb and allspice enrich their delicate taste.
You may trim the artichokes of all their leaves and stuff the bare hearts, which is the traditional Syrian way, or pack the stuffing into the vegetables with leaves trimmed short and the whispy choke scraped out beforehand. Or buy frozen artichoke hearts and make your life easier.
Syrian Stuffed Artichokes
1 kg. – 2 lbs artichoke hearts or 10 cleaned and trimmed fresh artichokes
250 grams – 1 lb. ground lamb
1 medium onion
1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups cold chicken stock
1 teaspoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt, and another 1/2 teaspoon
Pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 190° C – 400° F.
Chop the onion and sauté in olive oil over medium heat till golden.
Add the meat, stirring to break up lumps. Cook 5 minutes, stirring once in a while.
Add the allspice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, more pepper if liked, and the parsley.
Stuff the artichokes with the meat mixture. Place them close together in a baking pan.
Blend stock, cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Pour this mixture over the artichokes.
Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the cover (it can be tin foil or baking paper) and bake a further 10 minutes.
More Middle-Eastern artichoke recipes on Green Prophet:
Photo by Alexa627 via Flickr.