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.

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