I’m not such a picky eater but I have a weird thing with textures. As a kid, I could never enjoy the gushing insides of a tomato or the rubbery taste of mushrooms. Even artichokes grossed me out; my parents loved them and my mom made spinach and artichoke dip that is out of this world. Israel’s food culture is so big on fresh veggies, especially tomatoes, so I learned to like them and eventually love them. Now, the popping sound of biting down on a cherry tomato (created in Israel, by the way) is such a satisfying experience. 

When you walk through a big name supermarket in the U.S, you can find every vegetable, no matter the season! The veggies are so clean, super-sized, perfectly shaped that it almost looks like plastic, BUT are completely tasteless. One of the nice things about living in Israel is that in every city, you have family-owned produce markets at every corner. You walk into an over-crowded shop, where the veggies are often covered with dirt, some are deformed, they are smaller in size; but the taste… UNREAL. If you take a bite of a cucumber from the U.S and then a bite of one from Israel, the difference in taste is drastic. Bigger isn’t always better, my friends.

This recipe for stuffed artichokes are filled with vegetables like spinach, potatoes, mushrooms, and onion! It’s a great side dish for a family dinners and gatherings. It takes 20 minutes to make and less than 10 minutes to prepare.

Preheat your oven to 175 C (350 F). If you have leftover mashed potatoes, you can use that. If not, peel and chop 2 medium size potatoes and boil them for about 20 minutes, or until soft (Fun fact: Boiling potatoes starting with cold water allows the potatoes to cook more evenly). Drain and mash in a large bowl. Heat some vegetable or canola oil in a skillet and add chopped onion. A few minutes later, add the mushrooms and allow them to cook until browned. Combine the cooked onion and mushrooms with potatoes, crushed garlic, spinach, bread crumbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl. 

Spray an oven-safe pan with olive oil spray and spread the artichoke hearts evenly. Using a tablespoon, scoop up some potato filling and fill each heart until its stuffed to the brim. Heck, even overstuff it! Pop it in the oven for 15 minutes until the top is brown and slightly crispy. Remove the stuffed artichokes immediately and serve hot!


Spinach & Mushroom Stuffed Artichokes

SERVES: 3-4     –     PREP TIME: 10 Minutes      –     COOK TIME: 20 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup mashed potatoes

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 3/4 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 1 package of mushrooms, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable/canola oil

  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 8 frozen artichoke hearts, thawed

 Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F).

  2. Heat oil in a medium size skillet. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes.

  3. Add mushrooms to the pan and cook until slightly browned, about 4 minutes.

  4. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients (besides the artichoke hearts) until well combined.

  5. In an oven-safe tin, coat with olive oil and spread the artichokes out.

  6. Using a tablespoon, scoop the potato mixture into the artichoke hearts.

  7. Carefully place the stuffed artichokes into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the top is slightly brown.

  8. Serve while hot.

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