Before we left for our child-tending excursion in San Francisco, I bought two beautiful artichokes at the grocery store. They were on special for Mothers Day. We wound up eating out a lot during the week, and so the artichokes languished in the refrigerator. When we returned home, I was worried that the artichokes might have spoiled. They had not, so I was confronted with what to do with them. Usually I boil them and serve them with Hollandaise, but I wanted to do something a little different. I remembered a wonderful dinner that we enjoyed many years ago in Ruston, Louisiana. Our host had gone to enormous trouble to wedge a bit of spicy shrimp into every space between the leaves. Such a dish is a traditional Louisiana favorite, but it is usually reserved for special dinners because it takes so much effort. I thought that maybe I could make something that approximated that long-ago creation with not so much work. It turns out that this version is really easy if you have a food processor. Probably a Vita-Mix would work, too.
Shrimp-Stuffed Roasted Artichoke
- 2 large artichokes
- 2 slices good quality French bread
- leaves from 6 stems of parsley
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped coarsely
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + more to drizzle on the tops of the stuffed artichokes
- ¼ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- Tabasco sauce to taste (optional)
- 1 cup ready-cooked salad shrimp, thawed
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Prepare the artichokes by trimming the stem and the tips of the leaves. Cut off the top of the artichoke and remove the inner leaves to reveal the choke. Using a spoon, scrape out the fuzzy bits of the choke.
- Cut the bread into cubes and place in a food processor. Process until the bread forms coarse crumbs. Add the parsley leaves, chopped garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil and process until well combined but not puréed. Add the Old Bay, salt and pepper, optional Tabasco sauce, shrimp and grated Parmesan and process for just a few seconds until the shrimp are finely chopped but not puréed.
- Fill the center of each artichoke with the shrimp mixture and then spread the remainder over the tops of the artichokes. pressing down to force some of the mixture between the leaves.
- Place the stuffed artichokes in an oven-proof pan filled with about 1½ inches of water. Drizzle the tops with olive oil. Cover the pan with heavy aluminum foil, and poke four holes in the foil. Place in the middle of an oven preheated to 375°F. Roast for 1 hour covered, then remove the foil and roast, uncovered, for another 15 minutes. NOTE: Be very careful when you remove the foil, as steam may rush out and burn your fingers.
- Transfer the roasted artichokes to plates and serve with Hollandaise. I used Julia Child’s never-fail quick blender sauce.