• Juice from 2 lemons
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 6 large artichokes
  • 1½ cups fine dry bread crumbs
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup plus 2 tblsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • ½ cup plus 3 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ⅛ tsp peperoncino flakes

Today’s recipe is something that brings me back to my childhood. While this isn’t the exact recipe, I can remember numerous Sunday lunches at my grandmother’s house where she served stuffed artichokes. My family would fight over the leaves and enjoy every single bit of this Italian staple.  In my opinion artichokes are such a beautiful food and they are even more beautiful to photograph. The way the leaves curl around the bulb of the artichoke like a flower make it hard to tear it apart. But I’m telling you, once you smell these stuffed artichokes baking in your oven you’re going to want to dig right in.  If you haven’t worked with artichokes before Google ‘artichoke’ to better understand the anatomy of this vegetable.  You’ll need to know the parts of it to deconstruct it and stuff it.

Preheat oven to 400°.  Fill a deep bowl with approximately 1 quart of cold water.  Add in the juice of 1 lemon and then place the squeezed-out lemon halves in with the water.  You’ll use this bath to keep the peeled artichokes fresh while you prepare the filling.

Start with the first artichoke by peeling and trimming the stem.  Pull off any leaves on the outside that feel tough and discard them. Using a serrated knife, cut off the top 1/3 of the artichoke and discard it. Spread the leaves apart and scoop out the fuzzy purple center, also known as the ‘choke’.  Place the artichokes in the water bath while you prepare the filling.

For the filling, combine the bread crumbs, grated cheese and pine nuts in a bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup of the parsley, 1/2 cup of olive oil, the eggs and 1/4 teaspoon of salt along with the reserved lemon zest. Toss lightly with a fork until the breadcrumbs are fully moistened by the olive oil.

Remove the artichokes from the water bath and allow them to drain upside down on a kitchen towel. Starting with the first artichoke, fill the center with the stuffing and work outwards, spreading the leaves and filling with additional stuffing. Repeat with all of the artichokes and then place them in a shallow baking dish that will fit all artichokes snuggly.  Pour the wine and 1 cup of water in the base of the baking dish and season with the remaining salt and peperoncino. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the top of the stuffed artichokes.  Tent the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil from the top of the baking dish and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes.

Serve the artichokes in shallow soup dishes, drizzled with the cooking juices.

Stuffed Artichokes via @foodnfocus

Stuffed Artichokes via @foodnfocus