Ima’s Stuffed Artichoke Hearts
Two weeks ago I spent Friday morning at my parents’ place photographing my mom during her preparations for our routine Friday night dinner together. Having my parents, and Ima’s home-cooked meals, made mine and O’s transition to Israel more comfortable. We feel so lucky to have them here with us. I have memories ever since I was a child spending hours in the kitchen being her little assistant. Even now as a 23 year old, married lady, I take pleasure in our time spent together in the kitchen preparing Friday night dinner. My mom taught me everything I know about cooking. I have her to thank for knowing my way around the kitchen and feeling comfortable experimenting with new ingredients. This week Ima was cooking her infamous stuffed artichoke hearts (one of my all time favorites!). The lemony, exterior shell of the artichokes compliments the juicy, flavorful meat filling. Artichokes are in fact in season, however my mom prefers to use the frozen hearts, as it cuts hours of unnecessary and tedious work.
The preparation of this dish is made up of several steps. The first step is preparing the sauce that the artichoke hearts cook in. The sauce is a combination of sauteed onion, garlic, celery root, turmeric, lemon juice and water that is cooked until slightly reduced and concentrated.
Turmeric is a spice that you will rarely come across in my mom’s cooking– except for in this dish. She adds it to the sauce which adds a great color and goes well with the artichoke’s lemony shell. I, however, experiment more with this spice and like to add it to rice dishes.
The next step is to create the meat filling; which is prepared with what my Ima likes to call “goodies” that create perfectly seasoned, juicy, and flavorful meatballs.
Secret Ingredient: Ground Pistachios (yum!!)
And then you assemble…
What You’ll Need:
For the Sauce
1 Medium Yellow Onion (chopped)
5 Garlic Cloves (thinly sliced)
3 Medium Celery Roots (peeled and sliced)
1 TSP. Ground Turmeric
Dash of Paprika (regular & hot), Coriander, S&P
Juice from 1 medium Lemon
2 C. Filtered Water
For the Artichoke Hearts
20 Frozen Artichoke Hearts (defrosted)
Juice from 1 large Lemon
For the Meat Filling
500-600 Grams of Ground Beef (shoulder)
Drizzle of Olive Oil
1 Medium Yellow Onion (minced)
3-5 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1 Large Parsley Root, small piece of yam, and celery root (grated)
1 C. Chopped Parsley
1/2 C. Pine Nuts
1/3 C. Pistachios (coarsely ground)
Paprika (regular & hot), Coriander, S&P, to taste
Place the frozen artichoke hearts in a very large bowl, and cover with lukewarm water, and lemon juice, until fully defrosted (about 35 min).
Drizzle olive oil in a large saucepan and heat over a medium flame. Add onion, garlic, celery root and spices (in that order, wait 3-5 minutes before adding the next ingredient). Add lemon juice and water and cook on medium-low heat for 25 min or until the sauce becomes slightly concentrated.
While the sauce is cooking, prepare the meat mixture: in a separate frying pan, heat olive oil over a medium flame. Add onion, garlic, pine nuts and parsley (in that order, wait 3-5 minutes before adding the next ingredient). Remove from heat and add to a large bowl. To the same bowl add the ground beef, grated root-vegetable mixture, ground pistachios, and spices. Mix with your hands (this is the best way) until all the ingredients are incorporated. Then stuff the hollow part of the artichokes with the meat filling. There might be a little bit meat left over (depending on how much or little you fill your hearts), in that case, make a few small meatballs to add to the saucepan.
Before you add your artichoke hearts to the saucepan that the lemony sauce has been cooking in, remove about half the amount of sauce and put in a separate cup. Add the stuffed artichoke hearts to the saucepan, and then pour the remaining liquid evenly over them. Cover the saucepan and cook for 1 1/2 hours on medium-low heat.
Serve hot with extra sauce.
Thanks Ima for sharing this great recipe!