I bought my first garlic press this week. It just seemed like the right thing to do after waving my cyber arms around enthusiastically about pulverized garlic and its health benefits a couple of weeks ago.
One of my Chef Instructors (1000 years ago) used to say that they were for housewives (she herself was/is a woman) but I now realize that most of my favourite cooks (and people!) are in fact housewives, so I am more than ready to embrace the garlic press. And nice to not have turmeric residue all over it when I want to use it (unlike my microplanes). So, in honour of earning my housewife wings, we are busting out a garlicky recipe this week to celebrate (don’t worry, you can tone down the garlic if this terrifies you).
I could eat fresh artichokes every day. Artichokes and potatoes, but luckily artichokes are actually high on the list of cancer-crushing foods. Great for your liver, they boast major glutathione (you want this if you’re interested in not having cancer), are low glycemic and great for digestion. At first they may seem a little high maintenance, but you’ll get faster the more you use them and they’re more than worth it.
I like to think of this recipe like the whole roast chicken progression throughout the week: Night one –roast chicken, Night two –chicken sandwiches, Night three –chicken soup, or whatever. This recipe is night two. Use this post (my first ever…) to make steamed artichokes and throw a few extra in the pot to make this recipe the next night (and then this one the next night).
What goes into the artichoke is a pile of Provencal-inspired ingredients tossed together with some millet (and extra garlic). You could sub the millet for quinoa, buckwheat or any grain that gets you excited these days. It’s all baked together in a simple tomato sauce. Throw some plant-based Goat Cheese in there and it is my perfect meal. I do know that not everyone is going to make this exactly from start to finish though (at least not every week) so here are a few short cuts/alternatives:
Fill them with other delicious things that you may that have already made, in the fridge. This Tabouli or this less traditional Roasted Chickpea and Eggplant Tabouli leftover curries like this Red Lentil Curry would take it in a tasty direction, or even this Plant-based Spinach and Artichoke Dip (have you guys made this yet? If not go and do it right now!).
Make the millet filling and stuff it instead inside peppers or tomatoes. Peppers are already hollow, so easiest ever and big juicy tomatoes scooped out would be pretty awesome too (and you could skip the tomato sauce for these!).
Take your leftover steamed artichokes, remove the tough bits and thistle, chop it up and toss it together with the millet salad and serve it just like that. Warm it through because you’re worth it.
There are lots of options to ease your way into this recipe. But what I think you’ll find when you make it, is it’s far easier than you thought. And perhaps you’ll realize fresh artichokes are one of your favourite foods too. Let me know if you have any questions!
- 4 medium-large Fresh Artichokes
- ½ c Millet, soaked for 8-12 hours
- 1 c Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
- 2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
- ¼ c Kalamata Olives, pitted and torn in half
- ¼ c Fresh Basil, torn up
- 2 Tbsp Pine nuts (or almonds)
- 1 Tbsp Lemon juice
- 1 Lemon, zested
- 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Sea(weed) Salt, to taste
- 1 tsp Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
- 1.5 c Passata
- 2-3 Garlic Cloves, thinly slices (or crushed)
- Pull off the outer 2 layers of leaves of the artichoke including the ones on the stem
- With a large sharp or serrated knife, slice the top couple of inches off of the top of the artichokes (see pictures)
- Put artichokes in a wide-bottomed pot with a couple of inches of water and half of a lemon.
- Bring to a boil and simmer with the lid on for 45-60 minutes or until you can easily pull off the outer leaves.
- If you overcook, they will be a little more fragile to work with (fall apart easily) but it's not a big deal if you just squish them together in the same dish once stuffed.
- Let cool and cut off the stems (if they're not too fibrous, dice them up to add them to the stuffing....or eat them.
- Gently, using your fingers, open up the leaves from the top and pull out the inner ones. They should come out all at once or with only a couple of tries.
- This will expose the 'choke', the fuzzy part.
- Pull this out with your fingers or use a spoon.
- Fill with the millet stuffing.
- Preheat the oven to 350*F
- Put a layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish or pot.
- Place the stuffed artichokes in the dish and cover (either with the lid or with foil).
- Bake for 45 minutes or until warmed all the way through.
- Finish with a good drizzle of olive oil and fresh basil.
- Roast the cherry tomatoes at 300*F for about 15 minutes (or just leave them raw)
- In a small pot, put in the soaked, rinsed and drained millet.
- Add water until the millet is just covered.
- Bring to a boil, add a lid and turn the heat way down, almost off.
- Leave for about ten minutes.
- Transfer the millet to a large bowl and add all of the other ingredients except for the olive oil and a bit of basil for garnish.
- Season with sea(weed) salt to taste.
- Put the coconut oil and garlic in a small pot and slowly warm it up until it sizzles a bit and becomes fragrant.
- Add the tomato passata, bring to a boil and lower to a simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Season to taste.