You can serve these sausage stuffed artichokes as an appetizer, or they can definitely stand alone as a main dish. They really are such a treat.
On Thanksgiving, my Mom will usually have a big spread of appetizers while we watch the parade. She’ll have antipasto, stuffed mushrooms, and seafood salad…. but the star of the appetizer moment is definitely the stuffed appetizers. They are so delicious that you need to be careful to not eat too much and ruin your dinner appetite. I usually sit next to my Mom so we can split one and attempt some self control.
When buying artichokes, you want to choose ones that are heavy, with dark leaves that are tightly packed. If the outer leaves are soft, shriveled, or tearing, that’s not a good artichoke. They could last up to 5 days if you wet the stems and store them in an airtight bag, but it is best to cook your artichoke within 2 days of purchasing them.
Tender artichokes with sausage stuffing baked in beef broth for extra flavor.
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb breakfast sausage, like Jimmy Dean, or 1 lb hot sausage with casings removed
- 1/2 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 c unseasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/2 c water, plus more if needed
- 1/4 c fresh chopped parsley, divided
- 2 lemons
- 4 artichokes
- 2 cups beef broth, plus more if needed
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add sausage to skillet, and break it into crumbles with a wooden spoon as it browns. Once sausage is almost cooked through, (it will start to brown,) add the shallot to the skillet. If sausage absorbed all of the extra virgin olive oil, add another tablespoon to cook the shallot.
Stir in the breadcrumbs and water. It may seem like a lot of water at first, but the breadcrumbs and sausage are going to absorb it. The sausage mixture should be wet and sticky, but not with extra water at the bottom of the skillet. Add more water if needed if it is too dry. Stir in all but 2 tablespoons of the fresh parsley. Remove skillet from heat and allow it to come to room temperature.
Before prepping the artichokes, prepare a lemon water bath. Fill a large bowl 2/3 with water. Cut lemons in half, and squeeze the juice into the water bath. Place lemon halves in the water bath.
Prep the artichokes: First, cut off the tops, (about 1/2 - 1 inch). Next, remove the stems so that the artichokes have a flat surface to stand up. Remove any small leaves that were attached to the stem. You can reserve the stems and cook them in the dish with the artichokes later. Then, with a spoon, scoop out the inner leaves. These leaves will be very thin and fuzzy. If the leaves have thorns, or if the tips are tough and pointy, trip the tips of the leaves with scissors. Add each artichoke to the lemon water bath after being prepped.
Preheat oven to 425° F.
Place artichokes in a baking dish, and if you are cooking the stems, add them to the dish too. Stuff 1/4 of the sausage mixture into each of the artichokes. Really pull back each layer of leaves to ensure there will be stuffing on each leaf. Pour the beef broth on the bottom of the dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until tender. Check every half hour that there is still a pool of beef broth in the baking dish. Add more if needed.
Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
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