Red Quinoa-Stuffed Artichokes

To save time, prep and cook the artichokes a day in advance, drain them thoroughly, and refrigerate. Day of, all you have to do is reheat the artichokes, season the quinoa, stuff the artichokes, and bake. What could be easier than that? 

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1 cup Uncooked red quinoa
1 pinch Coarse salt and pepper
1 Lemon (halved and juiced)
5 Large artichokes
3 tbsp Red wine vinegar
3 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
3 tbsp Finely chopped parsley (plus more for garnish)
2 tbsp Shelled sunflower seeds (plus more for garnish)

Add the quinoa, 1 cup of water, and 1 tsp salt to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until water is evaporated and the quinoa is cooked but still slightly chewy, about 15 min.

Meanwhile, prep the artichokes. Fill a large bowl halfway with water and the lemon juice; drop in the lemon halves. Trim the top inch off each artichoke and snip the pointy ends off the leaves with kitchen shears. Using a paring knife, peel the outside layer off the stems and trim the fibrous ends (but leave the stems intact). Slice the artichokes lengthwise in half from stem to tip. Then, with a spoon, scoop out the hairy artichokes and trim away any purple or firm leaves from the centers. Drop each artichoke immediately in the lemon water once it's prepped.

Fill two large pots or Dutch ovens 1 inch high with the lemon water. Add artichokes cut side down in a single layer. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until hearts and stems of artichokes are tender when poked with a paring knife, 12–18 min. Transfer the artichokes cut side up to a rimmed baking sheet.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350ºF. Dress the quinoa: Pour in the vinegar, olive oil, parsley, and sunflower seeds; stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Fill each scooped-out artichoke center with 2 heaping tbsp of the quinoa mixture. Bake until lightly browned on the edges, 7–8 min. Remove, sprinkle with more sunflower seeds and parsley, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.