Quinoa-Stuffed Braised Artichokes with Romesco Sauce

Recipe by Tami Ganeles Weiser; photo contributed by Sarah Jane Green Yield:  4 servings
Prep Time:  1 hour Cook Time:  50 minutes

Quinoa-Stuffed Braised Artichokes with Romesco Sauce

These deliciously different quinoa-stuffed artichokes are inspired by Julia Child’s classic technique for preparing artichokes from her book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Of course, when she was writing her opus in France in the 1950s, this ancient South American grain was virtually unknown in the northern hemisphere and certainly not among practitioners of haute cuisine, but I like to think perhaps she would have approved of my modern adaptation. With no wheat or leavening, it’s an ideal vegan Passover entree, and with no dairy, it can be served alongside more traditional meat-based fare if you are serving a table of “mixed” eaters.

Ingredients

Artichokes:

Juice of 2 lemons

2 bay leaves

1 small onion, cut in half, skin on

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1½ teaspoon salt

2 thyme sprig

¼ bunch parsley, including stems

4 large artichokes

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

Quinoa:

1 cup quinoa

¼ cup dry white wine

2½ cups Roasted Vegetable Stock or store-bought low-sodium vegetable stock, divided

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

Romesco Sauce

Fresh lemon slices, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the artichokes: Fill a large pot with about 1 gallon of water, add the lemon juice, bay leaves, onion, garlic, salt, thyme, and parsley. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Using a large chefs’ knife, cut off the top inch of 1 artichoke and the bottom half-inch of the stem. With kitchen shears, cut the top half-inch of each leaf, making sure to remove the pricklers at the end. Remove the small leaves at the base of the artichoke and any on the stem. Gently pull open the middle of the artichoke, pulling the leaves gently apart without breaking them. Immediately place the artichoke into the pot so it does not turn brown. Repeat with the remaining artichokes. When all the artichokes are in the pot, bring the water to a hard, fast boil; then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. The artichokes will only be partly cooked. With a slotted spoon or kitchen spider, transfer them to a cutting board, and let cool until they can be handled. Remove and discard any stray herbs.
  3. While the artichokes are cooking, make the quinoa: Rinse the quinoa twice in a fine-mesh strainer under running water. In a saucepan set over high heat, combine the quinoa, wine, and 1¾ cup of the vegetable stock and stir. Bring to a boil; then lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed.
  4. While the quinoa is cooking, heat the oven to 375°F. Check that the artichokes are cool enough to handle, then cut them in half lengthwise. With a spoon, remove the fuzzy inside of the artichoke, just above the heart (this is the “choke” part of the artichoke and it is not edible). It will pull away very easily. Be careful to not dig into the artichoke  heart. Place the artichokes, cut side up, in a greased 3-quart casserole dish.
  5. Check the quinoa for doneness; it should have absorbed the liquid but not be soft. Once it is cooked, stir in the chopped parsley. Remove from the heat and spoon ¼ to ⅓ cup of the quinoa in the empty center of each artichoke, until all of the quinoa is used.
  6. Pour the remaining ¾ cup of stock into the bottom of the casserole dish, cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Serve warm with Romesco Sauce or fresh lemon.

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