Cook: Couscous Stuffed Artichoke

We love this time of year. The weather is warming up and spring flowers start to color the front yard. Oh, and fresh artichokes begin showing up in the produce aisle! Hello, spring! Our friend and blogger Jerry Stone, shares what to do with those yummy artichokes in this recipe.

Ingredients:

1 artichoke
1/2 lemon
3/4 cup Israeli couscous
1/4 cup chopped orange pepper
7 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preparation:

1. Trim the end of the artichoke and peel the stem, then half it length-wise. Remove the hairy part of the choke, scooping out some of the middle to create a cup for the couscous. Artichokes are almost color coded so you know which part to remove. I use a pearing knife to cut the choke out and then remove any excess with a small spoon. As a side note, when artichokes bloom, the choke turns this gorgeous indigo color and is simply lovely.

2. Steam the artichoke, cut-side down, until just tender. About 25 minutes. But this will really depend on the size and freshness of the artichoke. Simply pierce it with a knife to test for readiness.

3. Cook the Israeli couscous per instructions. Now, some instructions suggest adding olive oil to the water. Do not do that. You should cook it like pasta and it is a mistake to add oil during this step.

4. Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add in the red onion and garlic, sauteing for about 30 seconds. Then add the bell pepper and tomatoes, cooking another 30 seconds. Cook until the ingredients just soften.

5. Add in the chopped parsley and couscous. Mix to combine. Then salt and pepper to taste.

6. The artichokes should be ready!

7. Serve each artichoke half with a heaping scoop of the couscous stuffed inside. How wonderful does this warm couscous salad look? Wait ’til you taste it!

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