Saturday, April 23, 2016

{Gluten-Free} Crab-Stuffed Artichokes with Spicy Aioli for #SundaySupper

This week the Sunday Supper crew is sharing regional specialties. Thanks to Sue from A Palatable Pastime for the great theme! I love seeing recipes from my favorite bloggers all around the country...and the globe. Oh, before I forget - I'm on the central coast of California. So, I'm spoiled with fresh produce, great seafood, and terrific wine.

All the Regional Specialties...

Side Dishes:
Main Dish:
Plus Rhubarb Steamed Pudding and Favorite Regional Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement

My Central Coast of California Offering...
Based on input from local friends, I vacillated between a few dishes. Top suggestions were: calamari, clam chowder, artichokes, and strawberries.

I settled on Crab-Stuffed Artichokes with Spicy Aioli for a few reasons. First, I wanted to honor local farmers by including artichokes. I am only about 5 miles from the self-proclaimed 'Artichoke Capital of the World' and artichokes hold a special significance to my family. I'll get to that shortly.

Second, I wanted to celebrate local fisherman since crab season just kicked off. Crab season's start was delayed by detection of unhealthy levels of domoic acid, a toxin that can cause gastrointestinal illness. Boo. But we got the all clear just in time for this dish. 

So, artichokes and crab were a natural combination for my recipe choice for the Sunday Supper regional specialties event. And I created a spicy aioli because the spicy tanginess perfectly complements the sweet meatiness of the artichokes and crab.

Okay, now on to why the artichoke is so beloved by my family.

2010 was, for my family, the year of the artichoke. My husband submitted a painting for the Artichoke Festival and it was chosen as the festival's poster. In December 2009, he did a color study and settled on his subject; he decided to paint our older son, holding an artichoke.

A few weeks after Jacob submitted his painting, the commission called and requested a meeting. And after almost three hours in a room with five people, Jacob finally sent me a text message: I got it!

They loved his painting, but required some changes - he had to change the choke, from a summer choke to a harvest choke; he had to put some more details in the fields; and he needed to paint the lettering on the painting itself.

It was his first commissioned painting! During the festival, the original painting was auctioned off. But image was reproduced on the festival posters and festival tshirts. So, sometimes we'll be around town and see my son's face on someone's wall or chest.

This was the official reveal of the painting that kicked off the season of festival promotion.

Enough about the artwork. I'll get to the food part now. But...before I forget...this was the final image. Now on to the food!

Needless to say, that year we ate a lot of artichokes! I was on artichoke overload for awhile and didn't post too many recipes with artichokes for a few years after that. But I'm back on the artichoke-wagon. Some favorites: Braised Baby Octopus with Artichokes, and Salmon-Artichoke Cakes with Caramelized Leeks and Kale.

Crab-Stuffed Artichokes with a Spicy Aioli

Ingredients serves 4
  • 4 large artichokes
  • salt
  • water
  • fresh parsley, for garnish
  • 1 ¼ C extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 C gluten-free bread crumbs
  • 1 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 T fresh chopped basil
  • 1 t fresh chopped thyme
  • 2 C crabmeat, cooked, cooled, and cleaned
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
Spicy Aioli
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed or minced
  • 1/2 t mustard (I used a Dijon mustard)
  • 1 t cajun spice 
  • 1/2 to 3/4 C olive oil
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

De-stem the artichokes and pull off the small leaves at the bottom. With a sharp knife, slice off the top inch of each artichoke. Then, use kitchen shears to trim off the spiky ends of the remaining

Simmer the artichokes in a large pot of lightly salted water over medium heat until the bases are tender, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

Transfer the artichokes to a colander and let them drain upside down until cool. Once they are cool, you can scoop the center leaves out, leaving a hollow for your stuffing.

While the chokes are cooling, make the stuffing. Clean your crab.

Place all of the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl and combine thoroughly with a wooden spoon - or your hands! Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Gently pry apart the artichoke leaves and pack a spoonful of the stuffing in between. Place the stuffed artichokes in a rimmed baking dish and pack their middles with the rest of the breadcrumb mixture.

Cover the dish with foil and bake the artichokes for 35 to 40 minutes. Uncover and continue baking the artichokes until the stuffing is golden brown, approximately 10 to 12 minutes more.

Spicy Aioli
While the artichokes are baking, make the aioli. Place all of the ingredients - except the olive oil - in a blender.

Blend to combine. With the blender on low, drizzle the olive oil in slowly. Let each addition incorporate into the egg mixture before adding more. As more oil is incorporated, you can add the oil more quickly.

Season to taste with freshly ground salt and freshly ground pepper.

To Serve
Garnish the artichokes with parsley and serve immediately with the aioli on the side.

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  1. I was sorry to miss this event. Too many vacations this month interfered with my blogging. Don't you feel sorry for me LOL. What a cool thing for Jake and your entire proud you must be. I am pinning this to the FFF board and posting to our page. Thanks Cam.

  2. I LOVE artichokes! I'm going to surprise my husband with this dish this weekend!

  3. So pretty! These flavors sound so good together!

  4. These look wonderful! I love the idea of a crab stuffing. Your husband is quite the artist. What a fun experience!

  5. Wow, what talent!
    I've never prepared fresh artichokes myself, but as a kid I quite enjoyed them as a snack by the pool dipped in thousand island dressing.