TOMATO SALAD STUFFED ARTICHOKES
Methods You can get creative with this recipe and in fact, I encourage you to make this meal your own! If the thought of stuffing an artichokes is too much for you, try grilling the artichokes and topping with the tomato salad. Or you can stuff them and bake them with some feta cheese or parmesan on top if you want something different! You can also substitute canned or jarred artichokes and slice them up right into the salad if you want to opt out of the fresh artichoke prep.
Additions the salad itself is very versatile. It’s been recreated a thousand times over because these ingredients are just so good together. You can add avocado, cucumbers, balsamic vinegar or try different herbs like mint to change it up. I eyeball a lot and add ingredients to taste, so do adjust any of the ingredients to your liking. If you don’t like olives, omit them…ain’t no thang! If you don’t like tomatoes though, this one might not be for you ;)
Proteins If you want to make this a one bowl meal, add chickpeas or quinoa for your protein! It's also perfect as a side dish alongside grilled chicken, shrimp, fish or pork.
4 artichokes - look for tightly packed green leaves
2 tablespoons peppercorns
1 Tablespoon of kosher salt
1/2 lemon (juice reserved)
2 lbs of tomatoes - I recommend Campari, grape or cherry tomatoes, but use your favorite or whatever you have on hand!
red onion - approximately 3/4 cup - wedge sliced (thin half moons)
1/4 cup of Kalamata olives - roughly chopped
1/4 cup of capers - drained and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves (I use more because I’m a huge fan!)
feta cheese to taste
1/4 cup of good, fruity olive oil
Juice of one lemon
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Tend to the Chokes - there is a great tutorial with a video on how to steam artichokes here
Cut down the stems of your artichokes at the base. Trim approximately two inches off the top of your artichoke using a serrated knife. Then, using kitchen sheers, snip off the sharp points of the top leaves, so those thorns don’t poke you while you’re eating them. Next rub them all over with a halved lemon so they don’t brown during steaming.
Add water to your steam pot with along with lemon juice, lemon, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns and kosher salt. Add artichokes to steam basket , stem up OR, simply plop the chokes in water and boil them if you prefer. Your artichokes will be done when the stem is easily pierced with a fork and the leaves pull away from the heart easily. Cooking time will depend on the size of your chokes but I have found cook time to be approximately 30-45 minutes.
Make Your Tomato Salad
Quarter your tomatoes
Roughly Chop capers, parsley, red onion and Kalamata olives
Press or chop your garlic to your favorite consistency - you really cannot go wrong here…I love garlic.
Combine all ingredients along with your feta and drizzle with a good, fruity olive oil and your lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You will want the salad to sit for at least 15 minutes while the flavors meld. This salad keeps for approximately two days in the refrigerator and is also yummy served with orzo or on top of chicken and baked if you find yourself with leftovers.
Once the artichokes are done, pull them out of the steamer and allow them to cool. Once they are cool enough to handle, gently separate the leaves and pull out the softer, middle leaves that surround the heart of the artichoke. This will expose a fuzzy round disk at the bottom, a.k.a., the choke. Use a spoon to gently scoop out the choke and discard those fuzzies.
Replace the middle choke with scoops of the tomato salad. Pull the artichoke leaves and use as spoons to scoop the salad into your mouth, scraping the meat off the leaves for your artichoke flavor.