Let’s go back in time. Every party in New Orleans in the 60’s and 70’s, especially our family parties, served artichoke balls as an appetizer. These one bite savory veggie balls are easy to make and even easier to consume. I always keep a 14 ounce can of artichoke hearts in my pantry. They are always welcome additions to salads, pizza, and even to top paella and incorporate into risotto. Artichoke balls require a few ingredients and can be prepared in a matter of minutes.
Chopped artichokes are combined with Italian style bread crumbs and eggs to bind the mixture. Lots of garlic, olive oil, and parmesan cheese give the artichoke balls a bite and a deep salty flavor.
If you did not have the artichoke ball experience in the 60’s, then perhaps you made a similar appetizer ball with another type of vegetable such as spinach. You could use the same ingredients suggested in the recipe and simply change the vegetable to spinach.
The standing argument in New Orleans regarding artichoke balls is to bake or not to bake. My family did not bake the artichoke balls and served them cold. Some people prefer to bake them at 350 for 5-10 minutes to warm them before serving.
We also prefer to use Progresso Italian bread crumbs. If you prefer to make your own bread crumbs or if you have a favorite brand, feel free to use the same amount to bind the vegetable mixture before rolling the mixture into small balls.
Once the balls have been shaped, roll them in freshly grated parmesan cheese. I will have to admit, that I seriously doubt that my mom or my grandmother grated the parmesan cheese. I remember those little green cans of grated cheese in our fridge and I am certain that they had a role in the final touches for the artichoke balls.