In Croatia this dish called punjeni is a seasonal dish found in spring. They use the small globe artichokes for this recipe. I could not find globes in season so made the recipe with the larger artichoke which was a lovely result. It is a nice healthy version of an artichoke as you do not dip each leaf in butter. The addition of the bread crumbs and peas is wonderful.
Croatia Punjeni Artichoke
- 8 globe artichokes or 2 large size
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 ½ cups bread crumbs finely ground
- 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup white wine
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tablespoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup peas
In a medium sized bowl, mix the olive oil with the bread crumbs, tomato paste and wine. Add in the garlic and parsley then Mrs. Dash and the white pepper, and sweet paprika, add salt to taste if desire.
Rinse the artichokes. The top "choke" portion needs to be cut off only at the peak which helps open the flower better to stuff it with the breadcrumb mixture.
Stuff the artichokes.
Place the stuffed artichokes into a shallow pot and fill it to the halfway mark, so that the artichokes are half immersed in water. Add in the bay leaf. Once they start cooking, lower the flame so that the cooking process will continue but that the artichokes won't boil.
Cover the pot, partially, and let them cook. After about twenty minutes use a wooden spoon to make sure no bread crumbs are sticking to the bottom of the pan, taking care to not break up the fragile artichoke flowers.
When the artichokes are becoming much softer, towards the end of cooking, it's time to add peas. Baby peas are delicious addition to this dish.
Cooking time varies as to the size of the artichokes, but generally speaking, it will take a good hour for them to cook through. Test with a fork. The artichokes should be tender and soft
Serve them in a shallow plate with curved edges, because they are liquid based leaves are individually dragged across the upper teeth to get the "meat" of the artichoke, then tossed into a pot or plate in the center of the table.
Serve with some warm bread as an appetizer or vegetarian meal.