There are a few members of the vegetable kingdom that are especially stuffy. The artichoke is one of the stuffiest especially after this recipe…
This recipe will make enough filling for 3-4 artichokes. Great for a party appetizer or for a family dinner main course – super fun too!
Cut off the bottoms of artichokes so they sit level.
Trim off tips of all leaves (this is not necessary, but preferred since the ends are sharp) and rub each with fresh lemon to prevent browning.
Place artichokes in a pot with about 2 inches of water. Heat to medium heat with a lid loosely over the top. Bring to a light study boil for about 15 minutes or until middle of artichokes are tender.
Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan on high heat. Add about 1/2 of chopped onion.
In a medium bowl, sprinkle two tablespoons of flour over two cups of milk.
Whisk together until lumps are gone.
Pour milk slurry mixture into onions.
Add eight ounces of softened cream cheese. Stir in until fully melted.
Stir in a few tablespoons of bacon bits.
Add about 4 tablespoons of gruyere cheese. Stir in and remove from heat. Take about 5-6 ounces of salad croutons (garlic or Caesar flavor) and if they are large croutons, cut each one into about four smaller pieces.
Stir croutons into creamy sauce & allow to set while you prepare the artichokes.
After artichoke is finished cooking, separate the middle leaves and remove center leaves.
You will sneak up on the sea urchin in the middle of the artichokes. Don’t be scared. Just remove the fur.
Under the fuzz is the heart of the artichoke – the tastiest part of one of the stuffiest vegetables. I like to rinse the inside to get all the fuzz off before I fill the artichoke.
Place artichoke on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Fill with stuffing and top with some grated gruyere cheese. Heat in oven at 350 degrees until cheese is melted.
Plate and top with chopped flat leaf parsley and more bacon bits. If serving at a fancy party, just place a spoon inside so that everyone can place some stuffing on the end of their leaf. To enjoy in a casual setting, pull off a leaf, dip bottom end of the leaf into the stuffing as you would a scoop. Bite down about 3/4 from the top of the leaf and slide top teeth along the leaf to receive the stuffing along with the artichoke. Discard the remainder of the leaf. Repeat. Smile. Repeat. Smile. Repeat. Smile… until midnight.