Infuse Stuffed Artichokes With Umami Flavors By Adding Anchovies

Upon opening a tin of oily anchovies, their intense fishiness and slimy consistency may cause doubt and trepidation about their taste. However, any chef will tell you that they're the backbone of flavor that just about any recipe will benefit from. They provide an inimitable umami richness to pasta sauces, salad dressings, and globally famous condiments like Worcestershire and fish sauce. Since they're salted, cured, and often tinned in oil, anchovies practically melt into a saucepan, making them the easiest ingredient to blend into sauces and stuffings. 

They'd thus be the perfect secret weapon to give your stuffed artichokes a delicious je ne se quoi. Artichoke stuffing helps add heft and crunch to the vegetable's modest-yet-flavorful meat. Breadcrumbs, herbs, aromatics, and cheese are common artichoke stuffing ingredients that complement the artichoke's vegetal earthiness with a myriad of savory flavors. Anchovies offer a concentrated umami-richness that will infuse into the stuffing as easily as oil.

The rest of the stuffing's ingredients will mask the pungent fishiness you'd get from eating anchovies on their own so that you're left with only their addictive, glutamate-rich essence. As indicated by the diversity of recipes that call for anchovies, they'll enhance and add depth to any of the other four flavor categories. Consequently, you can add them to any artichoke stuffing recipe that you have in mind.

How to add anchovies to artichoke stuffing

For incorporating anchovies into artichoke stuffing, you'll need to use canned or jarred anchovies instead of their fresh counterparts. The good news is that there are many different brands to choose from and any of them will achieve the desired effects once the fish are heated and blended into the stuffing. Whichever stuffed artichoke recipe you follow, anchovies will be the first ingredient to throw into the saucepan so that they'll break down into a liquified form that the other ingredients can soak up. 

If you're using a breadcrumb and Parmesan-stuffed artichokes recipe, for example, you'll add a few tinned anchovies in their oil to a pan with butter or olive oil over medium-low heat, stirring until the anchovies melt into a pasty foundation before adding aromatics, followed by breadcrumbs and herbs. If you're using a liquid cheese sauce to make cheese-stuffed artichokes, you can melt a few anchovies into butter before adding the cheese and cream. The sauce will thicken over the stove, and a few stirs will help emulsify the anchovies.