Vegetarian Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms Recipe. Fish and Meat Variations

Artichokes: A great Sephardi favorite

We grew up in Morocco eating them in every shape and form, even for dessert.  Someone in the food industry, bless him, has done all the pesky job of snapping the leaves off the artichokes, and the even peskier job of scraping the fuzz off the artichoke bottoms, leaving us only with exactly what we want (perfect artichoke bottoms or baby artichoke hearts) in order to sail through the preparation of quite a few artichoke-based treats. There’s nothing I don’t do with them: Soups, tajines, Hummus, risottos, side dishes, salads, pickles, pastas, dips!

Lean, nutrient-packed, different, and delicious. Did you know there was an artichoke liqueur called Cynar? Not for the fainthearted: Try it, it might grow on you!

Vegetarian, Meat or Fish Stuffing: You can stuff artichoke bottoms with virtually anything you like: Meat, fish, rice, vegetables, cheese, breadcrumbs: The latter is what I am choosing to go with in this recipe,  just so I can let the artichoke be the main star. If you choose to stuff it with ground meat or ground fish, substitute 1 1/4 pounds ground fish or lean meat (beef, chicken, turkey or lamb) for the bread crumbs, and proceed just as instructed.


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 2 ribs celery, peeled
  • 1 bunch flat parsley
  • 6-8 sprigs dill, fronds and stems
  • Juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 3 cups fresh bread crumbs, gluten-free OK (or 1 1/4 pounds ground fish or lean meat)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 14-16 large frozen artichoke bottoms, no need to thaw before using.

Cooking liquid:

  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 good pinches saffron


Heat the oil in large skillet. In a food processor, coarsely grind the onion, garlic, celery, parsley and dill, and add to the skillet. Sauté the mixture until translucent. Add all but last ingredient, and mix thoroughly, adding a few drops water if necessary to form a thick paste. Fill the artichokes with the mixture, using it all up. Bring the cooking liquid ingredients to boil, and place the bottoms stuffing side up in the skillet. Reduce the flame to medium, and cook covered 20 minutes. Transfer the artichokes to a platter, and look at the liquid left in the skillet: if it is too thin reduce to thicken, and pour over the artichokes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

10 replies
  1. natalia
    natalia says:

    Hi Levana, you have a great website! Im so excited to have found it! My husband is of Morrocian-Kurdi origin and is used to flavorful spicy food whereas for me this is a novelty as I’ve always been into fresh healthy stuff so I think your website might really help me to please both of our stomachs :)
    My husband doesn’t like capers, can i omit them or can I replace them with something else? Also can i use frozen fish for this? Thank you

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Natalia thank you so much! No problem omitting capers, just adjust the seasonings accordingly. No problem using fish for the artichoke stuffing, make sure it is very good and fresh.

  2. Gio
    Gio says:

    Hi Levana, I’m unclear about how much ground beef and rice to use if I’m making these a-la-meat version. Can you elaborate?


    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Gio Please take a look again in the instructions: Replace the breadcrumbs with fish or meat in equal parts. So: If there are 3 cups of breadcrumbs in the recipe, replace with 3 cups ground meat or fish, and proceed as instructed.

  3. sara
    sara says:

    If I fill the artichokes bottoms with chopped meat, should I bake them? How would the cooking method be different?

  4. John Plough
    John Plough says:

    Recipe looks great. We will try tonight. Come August we will have an abundant supply of frozen artichoke hearts. Located in British Columbia Canada. Check our website for availabilty Will comment on recipe once tried. If you have more recipes for frozen artichoke bottoms point us in the right direction

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Hi John, I do loads of fantastic stuff with frozen hearts and bottoms. I think you should get my latest cookbook, where you will find fantastic artichoke-based recipes. If you are looking to develop more artichoke-based dishes, I may well be the girl for you!

  5. Elisa
    Elisa says:

    Shavua Tov Levana,

    Sounds like a wonderful recipe. Where do they sell the frozen arthichoke bottoms? I live in the UWS as well.


    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Aliza, Barzini almost never runs out of them. Kosher marketplace, seasons. Fairway 75th gets them once in a while, but fairway Harlem almost always has them

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