Artichokes are hands down, my favorite spring vegetable. Unfortunately, the season is not very long, so I tend to go a little crazy when they are available and always seem to buy too many when I see them fresh at our local outdoor markets. I do not have a favorite way to prepare them, as I enjoy them many ways whether they are browned and braised in white wine, steamed then breaded and baked, or even fried Roman style. Many folks are too intimidated to buy fresh artichokes as the cleaning of them seems a little daunting. Quite honestly though, once you’ve mastered cleaning your first artichoke, cleaning them becomes a breeze and can be accomplished very quickly. You can check out my step by step tutorial about How To Clean An Artichoke for help.
For this recipe, I merely boiled my chokes until they were tender when pierced with a fork, then I drained them, dressed them with a lemon and olive oil vinaigrette, and topped them with s spicy nduja flavored crumb topping. If nduja is not available in your area, you could use chorizo sausage instead. If you are not familiar with it, Nduja is a soft, spreadable Calabrian salami that has a kick. When we are in Italy, Nduja is pretty available, and I can find it in both the fresh form as well as in jars. In North America however, Nduja is much more difficult to find, so I order mine from Nduja Artisans. (They also sell truffle salami and lardo!) Fresh breadcrumbs work best in this dish as you want your crumbs very coarse. I do understand that not everyone is fortunate enough to have fresh artichokes readily available. You could use thawed frozen artichokes instead although the finished dish will not be quite the same.
Deborah Mele 2017
Artichokes With Nduja Breadcrumb Topping
- 2 Pounds Fresh Artichokes, Cleaned (See Notes Above)
- 1 Lemon
- 1 Lemon
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1 1/2 Cups Coarse Fresh Breadcrumbs
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Chopped Parsley Leaves
- 2 Tablespoons Nduja (See Notes Above)
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- Place the artichokes in a pot and cover with water.
- Slice the lemon in half and add to the pot.
- Cook the artichokes over medium heat until just knife tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Mix together the vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl, add the artichokes, and toss to coat.
- Arrange the chokes on a platter.
- In a frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the breadcrumbs, nduja, and parsley, and cook, stirring continuously until the crumbs begin to crisp and are evenly mixed with the nduja, about 7 to 8 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle the crumbs over the artichokes.