blooming w. flavor. [country ham & bread crumb stuffed artichokes]

May 16th, 2011 by | comments

Thank you so much to Natalie at Cook Eat Live Vegetarian for passing a Versatile Blogger award onto me. Please go check out her blog–both her story and cooking are truly inspirational.

Award rules: Thank the person who awarded you by linking back to their post, list 7 things about yourself and pass the award on to 15 other new or newly discovered blogs.

Newly discovered blogs:
  • Sweet Pea’s Kitchen: I thought I was the baking queen, but that all changed when I discovered Christina’s blog. Considering my huge sweet tooth, I frequent her blog often just to drool over her delicious desserts.
  • In Good Taste: I can definitely relate to Maris’ blog focus of young professionals taking the time to cook simple, homemade meals. Although, I can’t say I’ve created recipes for established companies such as Panera Bread and Starbucks, like she has!
  • Grilled Cheese Social: If you enjoy grilled cheese sandwiches in the slightest bit, you will absolutely love MacKenzie’s blog. She’s always creating inventive sandwiches, oozing with heaping amounts of cheese, of course.
  • Bittersweet: Hannah is an inspiration for all vegan chefs or bakers. Her presentation and photography is exquisite and her food always looks scrumptious.
  • YumYumYummers: Mich makes such colorful and unique food. She uses a variety of ingredients and spices, making every dish different and delicious.
  • Sinfully Spicy: Tanvi is not afraid to experiment with lots of spice in her ethnic cooking. Her food always looks absolutely delicious.
  • The Hungry Birdie: Robin is absolutely adorable and a great cook. Her photography is spectacular.
  • Savoring Every Bite: There’s no doubt that Linda’s creative and colorful dishes will make your mouth water.
  • Two Tarts: A blog with fantastic presentation, photos and recipes. Dulcie and Sarah make everything from scratch–most memorably homemade mascarpone, which they paired with fresh strawberries.
  • TasteFood: I love Lynda’s colorful, inventive and unique recipes. My stomach is always growling after looking at her gorgeous photos.
  • Chef in Disguise: Sawsan posts great recipes with delicious flavor combinations. Her apple and cinnamon streusel pizza is by far one of my favorites. Really, how can you go wrong with dessert and pizza in one?
  • Love and Olive Oil: I love this blog’s motto: cook to live, eat to love. Lindsay and Taylor are both so creative with their recipes and photography.
  • Anne’s Food: Anne’s recipes are always fresh and delicious. She often posts photos of her children, who I have to add, are absolutely adorable.
7 facts:
  • I was born in Columbus, OH and am a huge Ohio State Buckeye fan. For any football or basketball game, I can guarantee you’ll see me clad in my OSU jersey, temporary face tattoos, buckeye necklace, etc.
  • A few foods I really dislike: dark chocolate, fennel, cucumber and olives.
  • I’m a neat freak and a perfectionist, especially when it comes to food photography.
  • I’m a major Gleek, and I’m not embarrassed to say it. It’s one of my favorite shows and I’m actually going to see Glee Live in a couple of weeks with my mom–I can’t wait. A few of my other favorite shows include Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, SYTYCD, 30 Rock and The Office.
  • Growing up with an English teacher as a mother, I became accustomed to her constantly correcting my grammar. I ended up following in her footsteps and graduated with a BA in English. I often find myself mimicking my mom and correcting my friends’ spelling and grammar (woops).
  • I have a very eclectic taste in music–I love almost all genres, from indie to pop to country to rap. Current bands on repeat on my iPod: Angus & Julia Stone, The Civil Wars, The Naked and Famous, Fleet Foxes and Cold War Kids.
  • I have a Golden Retriever at home named Chloe, and I am slightly obsessed with her. She’s 11 years old, is a carb whore (she loves bread) and I’m pretty positive she has separation anxiety. But, she’s adorable, right?


2 medium artichokes

1/2 lemon, cut into wedges

3 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 cup diced onion

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1 tbsp. minced garlic

Pinch dried thyme

1 cup Organic fine dry bread crumbs

1 tbsp. dried parsley

1 tsp. lemon zest

3 tbsp. finely grated Parmesan

2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 cup finely ground, fully-cooked country ham

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper

Lemon wedges for serving, if desired


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the stems from the artichokes to leave a neat, flat base. Lay each artichoke on its side, and cut away the upper third with a sharp knife. With kitchen shears, remove the prickly leaf tips from each remaining leaf. Rub the cut sides and bottom with a lemon wedge, squeezing lemon juice onto the cut areas and set aside.

Place the prepared artichokes and the lemon wedges in the boiling water and simmer, partially covered, until the bottom is tender and can be pierced with a sharp knife and an outer leaf pulls out easily, about 25-30 minutes. Drain the artichokes upside down in a colander.

While the artichokes are cooking, heat the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened and translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and continue to cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the bread crumbs, parsley, lemon zest, parmesan, chopped eggs, ground ham, and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Mix well and adjust seasonings wiht salt and pepper.

When the artichokes are cool enough to handle, press the leaves back so that the artichoke open to reveal the inner choke and prickly leaves. Pull out the cone of underdeveloped white leaves and gently scrape out the choke with a spoon so as not to damage the heart.

Gently pull the leaves outward from the center until the leaves open slightly. Fill the artichoke cavities with the bread stuffing, and pack a little bit into the space between the leaves. Place the artichokes in a baking dish and drizzle the tops with the remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil. Pour 1/2 cup of water into the bottom of the dish. Bake until the artichokes are golden brown and the bread crumbs develop a nice crust, about 10-15 minutes. Serve warm with additional lemon wedges, if desired.

// share //
  • Those photos of the artichokes are amazing! So touchable. I love your dog, mine has separation anxiety for definite. I have to take him everywhere with me otherwise he chews chairs and the front door, so stressful, for him & me!! :D

    • Thank you! Oh yes, we have to put gates up to confine her to the kitchen when we leave. Otherwise, she often decides to use the cream colored carpet in the living room as her toilet because she gets so nervous!

  • That’s a wonderful recipe. And your dog is quite precious. Thanks for the award and the kind words! I can’t wait to check out your list, The triple Yum is always impressing me so is the Chef in Disguise! And any blog that starts with grilled cheese or ends with olive oil is worth checking out!

    • Thanks Rufus! You are more than deserving of the award. And, I’ll pass the word on to my pup. :)

  • Caroline! Thanks for stopping by! Time to do some exploring on your lovely blog! Great photos btw.


    • Dana! Of course! I will definitely be following you from now on–love your blog. :) xx

  • These look delicious!

  • Aw, you’re making me blush! Thank you so much, I’m flattered that you would even mention my blog. :)

    • Of course!! You definitely deserve it. :)

  • You have a great blog!! So glad I found it today. I love artichokes- so yum.
    I love Glee too!! I don’t watch TV EVEREVEREVER but my mom told me to give it a chance so I did. So surprised but in a good way.

    • Thank you, I’m so glad you like it!! And very glad you gave Glee a chance, isn’t it great!? I’ll definitely follow be following your blog. :)

  • Thank you so much Caroline..I don’t know what to are truly too kind..
    Thank you for the wonderful list of new blogs to explore.
    The artichokes look super tasty and the pictures are stunning

    • Aw, of course! I absolutely love your blog. :) Thank you so much!

  • Congrats on the award!! Well deserving! I love stuffed artichokes! I’ve never put in hard boiled eggs or ham – great idea and definitely a must try!

    • Thank youuu!! I know, right? It was very delicious–a heartier twist on the simple artichoke. :)

  • Those artichokes look absolutely delish! And let me just say Congrats on your award! And Greg aka Rufus and Tanvi deserve this award! There blogs are amazing and they are apart of my blog family. Love them! I gotta go check out the other blogs.. wonderful post and congrats again girl!

    • Thank you so much, I really appreciate it!! You’re too sweet. Don’t they though? I love both of their blogs so much, AND yours of course. :)

  • I think I must eat artichokes in the most boring way – boiled and then eating the meaty part with butter – I’ve just never given a thought to trying something different with them. This looks great so I’m most certainly going try and be a bit more adventurous with artichokes from now on! Thanks :)

    Also – ditto on the correcting of friends’ grammar etc – the number of people who probably hate me by now for constantly correcting their use of ‘less’ instead of ‘fewer’ and so forth is probably quite high :D

    • Honestly, I never thought of eating them any other way either because they’re so tasty dipped in butter or a garlic aioli. This recipe was definitely a winner though–I made sure to get the bread crumb filling on every leaf/bite.

      I’m so glad you can relate re correcting grammar. Sometimes I know I should just keep my mouth shut, but I almost always end up saying something–in a polite and sweet way of course. :)

      • Just thought I’d tell you that I just made this for dinner with a few variations – grilled, finely sliced aubergine and bell pepper in the centre, topped with breadcrumbs and crumbled feta cheese – soooo good!

      • Those sound like some absolutely fabulous alterations to this recipe–YUM! So glad you enjoyed it. :)

  • congrats on the award and such a neat idea with the food…yummmy! and you dislike my favorite foods!!! lol

    • Thank you very much! Haha too funny–and another one I really despise is cilantro. Everyone thinks I’m crazy! Thanks for visiting my blog. :)

  • funny thing is that i saw artichokes at the farmers’ market on the weekend, but i shied away because i wasn’t quite sure what to do with the artichokes. but now i have some fantastic foodie inspiration from you! great post and thanks for sharing.

    ps — thanks so much for the shoutout and the award. i continue to be inspired by your blog, and happy to hear that you are enjoying my culinary adventures as well! cheers!

    • That’s exactly what I do every time I pass by artichokes at the market! When I visited my parents at home, my mom almost begged me to take the artichokes, since they were going to go bad and she didn’t have time to make them. So, I chose this recipe since it sounded like a heartier twist on the average artichoke.

      And of course, you definitely deserve it. I absolutely love your blog and visit it every day. :)

  • Congrats on your award and thanks so much for passing it on to me! :D I was also born and raised in Columbus, Ohio and my husband and I are HUGE Buckeye fans! We moved to Indiana 5 years ago for my husbands residency, but we will always be die hard buckeyes fans! :)

    • Thanks so much, Christina! My family and I moved from Ohio to California almost 14 years ago and we will definitely always be die hard Buckeye fans–both of my parents went to OSU, so I guess it’s a given. GO BUCKS! :)

  • How can you dislike dark chocolate? and cucumbers? I actually had both of those today. I really enjoyed your random facts (loved your dog!). I think I will try your stuffed artichokes but sub ham for something vegetarian :). When I was a kid my aunt bought some artichoke hearts in a jar and I was convinced she was some scary lady buying animal hearts in jar..oh how naive

    • I know, I’m crazy right? I really don’t even like chocolate that much–only if the flavor is masked by lots of peanut butter or caramel! I think the artichokes would be equally delicious without the ham, maybe just add a different salty component.

      That’s too funny re the artichokes in a jar. I rarely cook with them and always get grossed out when removing the choke, etc. I felt like I was dissecting an animal or something, ha!

  • egg me on

    Such a great post, Caroline! Awesome photos too.

  • These artichokes look gorgeous – certainly award-winning :-). Congrats!
    And Chloe is sooo cute :-)

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  • Congrats on being versatile!

    • Thanks so much! Glad you found my blog so I could discover yours–it’s great!

  • Thanks Caroline! So sweet of you to mention my blog :) YOU are adorable, congrats on the award!

    • Of course! Thanks so much, Robin. Love your blog. :)

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