Stuffed Artichokes


Stuffed Artichokes

Ingredients:

4 large artichokes
1 cup dried bread crumbs
2 tablespoons finely chopped black olives
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon chopped capers
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
4 teaspoons grated Parmesan for topping

Directions:

Trim the artichokes as described above, removing only the tough bottom leaves and
snipping the ends off the others.  Leave the artichokes in the lemon water while you prepare the stuffing. 

To make the stuffing: For the dried bread crumbs we recommend starting with fresh bread crumbs.
Process a few slices of leftover Italian bread in a food processor.  Place on a micro-safe plate and heat on
high at 1 minute intervals.  Stir the crumbs occasionally.  Remove when they are dry and crisp.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs, olive, Parmesan, garlic, herbs, capers, red pepper, salt and pepper.
Add some olive oil (4 to 6 tablespoons) gradually, stirring until combined and moistened.
Spoon the stuffing into the center of the artichokes until filled to the top.
Place the artichokes in a baking dish.
Add enough water to the dish to cover the bottom halves of the artichokes.
Cover the dish with foil and bake 1 hour.  Artichokes are fully cooked when you can easily pull out a leaf.
Remove from the oven and increase the heat to broil.
Remove the foil and top each artichoke with a teaspoon of Parmesan cheese.
Place under the broiler until the topping is browned, about 2 minutes.
Place on a serving platter and spoon a little of the juice from the baking dish over each.
Serve whole or cut in half vertically.

Serves 4

NOTES:
Stuffed Artichokes

Stuffed artichokes are one of the most common ways of eating artichokes in Italy. Native to the Mediterranean, the artichoke is harvested year-round, but more than half of the crop is
harvested between March and May.  The Fall crop usually peaks in October.  The ‘vegetable’ that we
eat is actually the plant’s flower bud.  Most people cook the whole artichoke and slip each petal, one
by one, through their teeth until they reach the tender heart which is entirely edible.    If you’re
intimidated by this unusual-looking vegetable, you’re not alone.  But once you learn the simple
procedure, preparing artichokes is easy.

RECIPE

Seasoned Bread Crumbs:


Seasoned bread crumbs are used in the above recipe for artichoke stuffing but
they can also be used as a costing for fried poultry, meat, fish, or vegetables.  You
can store the bread crumbs in storage bags in your freezer for up to a year. 

4-5 cups coarse bread crumbs
3/4 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese
1-1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine all ingredients until blended.

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