Artichokes a a great winter staple food in our home. This dish is called ‘qaqocc mimli’ in Maltese and while I never found it in restaurants I know lot of people who cook it here in Malta. These artichokes are also fun to eat as you need to get your hands ‘dirty’. If you never had them like this, here is how you eat a stuffed artichoke:
- Pull off outer petals at one time.
- Pull petal through teeth to eat/scrape meaty portion.
- When you are at the artichoke heart remove top spiky part (usually violet) and eat bottom part of heart.
I love the petal’s ‘meat’ and also the artichoke heart. They have different taste but both are delicious.
It is also a custom for many Maltese to accompany this dish with some endive (Iindivja in Maltese) on the side. It can be cooked inside the same pot and the flavor really goes hand in hand with the stuffed artichokes. Try adding some vinegar of your choice on the cooked endive. For those who wonder, this is what endive look like before it’s cooked:
Artichokes are full of nutrients and healthy benefits. They helps irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), kidney problems, anemia, arthritis, bladder infections, liver problems, high cholesterol and lowering blood sugar levels.
This is how the dish looks before adding water and putting it on the heat:
Enjoy the recipe!
- 2 fresh artichokes
- 2 medium potatoes
- bunch of fresh parsley
- 10 thin green garlic (or 4 garlic cloves)
- 2 tablespoons sliced olives
- olive oil
- sea salt
- fresh black pepper
- 1 head endive (optional to accompany as a side dish)
- Clean the artichokes under running water.
- While stem is still on, turn the artichokes upside down and hammer on flat surface or a chopping board. This will allow the leaves to open so that you can easily stuff them.
- Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and put at bottom of deep pan.
- In the mean time put a kettle on the boil.
- Thinly slice the garlic and parsley and mix together in a bowl.
- Cut the stem from the artichokes and thinly slice the inside of the stem and mix together with garlic and parsley.
- Place the artichokes on the potatoes in the pan and start filling the artichokes with the parsley and garlic mixture.
- When ready distribute olives inside artichokes and drizzle with salt, pepper and olive oil.
- Fill the pan with hot water until it reaches half the height of the artichokes.
- Add the endive on top of the artichokes if using.
- Cover pot and bring to the boil for about 20 minutes. Then simmer for 70 minutes at low heat. If the water drains, refill with extra water and cover again.
- The artichokes should be ready after one and a half hours. Test the meat of one petal before switching off the heat. Make sure the meat easily comes off petal and doesn’t stick to your teeth.
- You can use sweet potatoes but I am used to white potatoes to accompany this dish!
- Best served warm but can be enjoyed also cold.