I found in Gil Marks's "The World of Jewish Cooking" that no less than
Rashi believed the artichoke was the reference for: "Thorns and thistles
shall it [the ground] bring forth to you." --Genesis 3:18. The recipes in
the Marks book are for fresh or frozen, though.
Claudia Roden notes that Jews fleeing Sicily introduced artichokes to
Rome, Venice and other cities.
You didn't mention whether you have hearts or bottoms. If hearts, just
make a light lemony dressing, adding things like chopped olives or pickle
relish. If you have the bottoms, you can make a meat "stuffing" by
browning meat, seasoning it to your taste, adding an egg or some whites to
bind, then baking in a medium-hot oven just to heat them through and set
Claudia Roden gives this vegetarian recipe for stuffed artichoke bottoms
in "The Book of Jewish Food." She bases this on frozen, not canned. For
canned, you would need less time. These can be an appetizer or side dish.
Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms
2 oz. (50 g) or about 5 small anchovy fillets, finely chopped (optional)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
A good bunch of flat-leafed parsley, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 oz. (60 g) bread crumbs
6 Tablespoons olive oil
2-3 Tablespoons lemon juice
14 oz. (400 g) artichoke bottoms
Mix all the ingredients except the artichokes into a paste. Fill the
artichoke bottoms with this stuffing. Put in a baking dish side by side.
Pour enough water -- about 1 cup (250 ml) -- to half-cover the artichokes
(it should not reach the filling) and bake at 350 F (180 C) for about 25
minutes, or until they are tender. Serve cold.
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