Stuffed summer artichokes with sweet corn

Stuffed summer artichokes with sweet corn

I learned how to eat artichokes in college. My college boyfriend, who was very attuned to his Italian heritage, raved about the joys of eating artichokes, which I always thought were so beautiful to look at and so mysterious to eat. One date night while in college, we ordered a stuffed artichoke and I was baffled by the amount of work that went into eating each delicate leaf by scraping off the flesh with your teeth. 

The whole experience seemed so tedious, that I didn’t bother ordering artichokes again in the states. Years later, after my college boyfriend and I broke up, I was in Italy and one of my big goals was to eat regional cuisine as possible. The best artichokes I ever had in Italy were in Rome, specifically in the Jewish neighborhood where artichokes are grilled, fried, stuffed, and cooked so many different ways, it’s a treat to try all of them. The area, known as the Jewish ghetto, has a distincted way of cooking artichokes and every restaurant along Via Portico d'Ottavia has its own signature dish. Eating all those different artichoke dishes throughout Italy really allowed me to appreciate the beauty and flavor of the vegetable. 

Now, when summer rolls around, I get so excited to cook artichokes. I love stuffing them with fresh herbs and nutty cheeses and I like to serve them up with a refreshing yogurt sauce. These stuffed summer artichokes with sweet corn are one of my favorite summer side dishes to make on the weekends. It’s also fun to make with friends and loved ones so they feel included in the experience, and it’s even more satisfying when you eat the finished product later. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Stuffed artichoke with dip

Why are artichokes so popular in Italy?

I think Italy is one of the countries that most appreciates artichokes. They have such a breath of dishes like carciofi alla romana, which is a classic Roman dish of artichokes that are steamed and then braised in olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Then there’s my personal favorite carciofi alla giudia, which is a popular Jewish-Italian dish of artichokes that are deep-fried until crispy. Carciofi alla messinese is a Sicilian dish of artichokes that is cooked with anchovies, capers, and tomatoes. 

Why do Italians love artichokes so much? 

There’s history behind the affection. Artichokes have been cultivated in Italy for centuries. They were first introduced to the country by the Greeks and Romans, who believed that they had aphrodisiac qualities. Interestingly, its name in Italian comes from the Arabic word al-kharshuf, which means “thorny chard.” For centuries, artichokes were a delicacy eaten by the wealthy. It was a famous banker and politician who popularized the vegetable in places like Florence and Naples. It was eventually exported to France, and then eventually to many other parts of Europe.

Are artichokes healthy? 

Artichokes are a delicious and healthy good. They are high in fiber, which means they keep you fuller longer. They are loaded with vitamin C and also contain vitamin B6, they also contain iron, magnesium, calcium, and cobalamin, which it vitamin B12. And they contain antioxidants. Here are some of the health benefits of artichokes:

  • Improves digestion: Artichokes can help you better regulate digestion and prevent constipation because they are full of fiber. They also contain cynarin, which has been shown in studies to stimulate bile production, a necessary and important digestive fluid that helps to break down fats.
  • Lowers cholesterol: Artichokes can help lower cholesterol levels. One study found that eating artichoke extract for 12 weeks reduced total cholesterol by 16% and LDL (bad) cholesterol by 22%.
  • Maintains liver health: Artichokes can also help protect liver health. One study found that artichoke extract helped to reduce liver inflammation and damage in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
  • Boosts immune system: Artichokes are a good source of antioxidants, which can help your immune system fight diseases.
  • Reduces inflammation: Artichokes have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body. This can be beneficial for people with conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, and cancer.

How do I eat artichokes?

  1. The key to dining on a tasty artichoke is finding a ripe artichoke. A ripe artichoke will be firm and heavy for its size. The leaves should be tightly closed and the outer leaves should be a deep green color.
  2. Once you find the right artichoke, you’ll need to prepare it. I like to soak my artichokes in cold water for at least 30 minutes to help remove any dirt or grim. Then I drain the artichokes in a strainer, letting the water drip off, this takes an additional 30 minutes. With a very sharp knife, I cut off the top leaves of the artichoke, exposing the inside. Then I remove the stem so the artichoke can sit up on the cutting board. Some parts of the stem are edible, so don’t throw it out! Next, I take a pair of kitchen scissors and snip off the top third of the leaves all over the artichoke. You can also use a sharp knife to remove the tough outer leaves. 
  3. At this point, you can remove the choke. The choke is the fuzzy center of the artichoke. It is not edible, so you will need to remove it. Use a spoon to scoop out the choke. I like to remove the choke after I cook the artichoke, especially when I am stuffing them, but you can do whatever is best for you. 
  4. Now, after all that prep, we cook the artichoke. You can steam, boil, or grill the artichoke. I like the steam method when I make stuffed artichokes. To steam an artichoke, place it in a steamer basket and steam for 20-30 minutes, Sometimes I cook artichokes for 45 minutes, depending on their size and how much I stuffed them. Cook them until you can easily pierce the leaves with a fork.
  5. Finally, we get to dine on the delicious artichoke. To eat an artichoke, start by pulling off the outer leaves one at a time. Dip the base of the leaf in melted butter, vinaigrette, and aioli, I like using a yogurt sauce, the recipe is below. Then you scrape the soft flesh off with your teeth. Discard the leaf once you have eaten the flesh. Continue until you reach the heart of the artichoke. The heart is the most tender part of the artichoke and can be eaten whole.

Recipe: Stuffed summer artichokes with sweet corn

Yield: Serves 2 to 4 | Prep time & inactive cooking time: 1 hour and 45 minutes | Active cook time: 45 minutes | Total time: 2 hours and 30 minutes

Ingredients for the artichoke stuffing 

  • 2 large artichokes 
  • 1 cup of panko or traditional/Italian bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup of parmesan cheese 
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed black pepper 
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs chopped roughly, I like to use parsley, oregano or marjoram, and basil 
  • 1 stalk of slicked scallion or 2 tablespoons of shallots 
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic (I like garlic, but you can reduce this if you don’t want a heavy garlic flavor) 
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of salt to taste 
  • Zest of 1 whole lemon
  • Juice of ½ lemon 
  • ½ cup or 1 cob of steamed fresh corn off the kernel (you can use canned if you cannot find fresh)
  • ¾ cup of water 
  • 1 chicken or vegetable bouillon cube 
  • 1 large bay leaf 

Ingredients for the artichoke yogurt dip 

  • ½ cup of greek yogurt (you can also use plain yogurt, try to use a yogurt with a little bit of milk fat because it helps with the texture. Non-fat plain yogurt can make the sauce lumpy. But non-fat Greek yogurt works well in this dish)
  • 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise (to add a creamy texture, if you don’t like mayo, you can sub for extra virign olive oil) 
  • 1 glove of finely grated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of miso (this adds a nice depth of flavor and salt) 
  • 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard or wholegrain mustard (optional)
  • Dash of paprika 
  • Juice of ½ lemon 
  • A few leaves of fresh mint
  • A few springs of dress dill 
  • A few leaves of fresh basil 
  • Salt and black pepper for taste 


1. Fill a large bowl with cold water and soak for artichokes for at least 30 minutes. Once the artichokes are done soaking, pull them out of the water and let them drain in a colander for another 30 minutes. 

Soak artichokes in cold water

2. Trim your artichokes by cutting off the stems and tops of the artichoke leaves. You can remove the choke at this point, but I keep it in and remove them after my artichokes are cooked and eaten because it’s less time consuming and easier for me. But you can do what works best for you. 

Trimmed artichokes show vibrant colors

3. Once your artichokes are trimmed, rub half a lemon slice along the trimmed leaves and stems to prevent browning.

Artichoke with lemon

4. Use your fingers to help spread the leaves of the artichokes out, opening the artichokes up.

Trimmed artichokes

5. Set the artichoke aside and let’s start making the stuffing. Add our wet ingredients, corn, garlic, herbs, scallions, salt, pepper, olive oil, and parmesan into a large bowl.

Vegetable mixture for artichoke stuffing

6. Mix everything well, then add in your breadcrumbs and mix until combined. 

Artichoke stuffing with breadcrumbs

7. Now we stuff the artichokes. I like to stuff every leaf with a little bit of filling. Once everything is packed nicely, I pile the remaining filling on top of the artichokes and then I transfer them into a large cooking pot. You want to make sure you’re using a deep cooking dish because you’ll be steaming the artichokes. 

Stuffed artichoke with fresh breadcrumbs

8. Once you place your stuffed artichokes in the pot, add your water to the pot making sure the water level reaches the middle of the lowest leaf on the artichoke.

Stuffed artichokes in a pot

9. Then add your artichoke stems that you cut off (the center of the stem is edible, to the water, along with your bouillon cube, bay leaf, and the lemon slice your used to rub your artichoke. Then put a lid on your pot, leaving it slightly off center so some steam can escape.

Artichokes in a pot filled with liquid

10. Heat your pot to medium heat, and set your timer for 45 minutes. Half way through the cooking process, you should check on your artichokes to see if you need to add any more water, you want to make sure the artichokes are slightly submerged in water through the whole cooking process. 

11. As the artichokes cook, it’s time to make the dipping sauce. Add the miso, mayo (olive oil), yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, and seasonings to a bowl, and mix everything together, make sure everything is very blended well.

Yogurt dipping sauce

12. Then stir in your herbs and put the dip into the refrigerator while the artichokes cook. 

Completed yogurt dipping sauce

13. Once the artichokes are done, remove them with thongs, they will be hot and steaming. I like to drizzle the cooking liquid on top of the artichokes for extra flavoring. 

Steamed artichokes

14. After the artichokes have cooled slightly, you can dig it.

Stuffed artichoke that's fully steamed

15. I peel the bottom leaves off first, dip them into the sauce, and scrape the flesh with your teeth. 

Artichoke leaf with stuffing and dipping sauce

Let me know if you tried this recipe!  

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1 comment

This recipe is amazing. My partner and i tried it and it truned perfect and delisouse. Thank you so much for sharing.


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