Stuffed artichokes can be quite challenging to make if you keep them whole. But if you cut them in half, theyâ€™re much easier to prepare, and theyâ€™re not quite the same huge portion, making them more appropriate for a first course. You can use any Italian spice mix you like, or use oregano, basil, or a mix of the two. For the cheese, use what you like. Provolone, Parmesan, Asiago, or an aged mozzarella would be fine. Or a mix.
- (about 1/2 cup) shredded cheese
- Fresh bread crumbs
- Italian seasoning mix
- lemon juice
- melted butter
- olive oil
- or lemon wedges for serving
- unsalted butter
- Cook the artichokes in a large pot in simmering salted water with a tablespoon of lemon juice added. The artichokes are done when you can grab one of the large leaves and it pulls out easily. This will take quite some time, depending on the size and age of the artichokes â€“ 45 minutes to over an hour.
- Meanwhile, prepare the stuffing. Put the bread crumbs in a food processor along with the butter, cut into several pieces. Pulse the food processor until the butter is blended into the bread crumbs. Add the Italian seasoning and the cheese and pulse until they are mixed through the crumbs.
- As soon as the artichokes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half from stem to point. Use a spoon to remove the fuzzy â€œchokeâ€ in the center, along with some of the small leaves. NOTE: If you want to prepare these in advance, you can cook the artichokes, then refrigerate and continue on the next day. Theyâ€™ll take a little longer to cook, but not very much longer.
- Preheat the oven to 350°
- Place the artichoke cut-side up in a chefâ€™s pan, and add about one cup of water to the bottom of the pan. Pile the prepared bread crumbs onto the artichokes. You donâ€™t want to pack them in â€“ leave them lightly piled up and fluffy. NOTE: If youâ€™re into super-buttery artichokes, you can drizzle melted butter â€“ with or without a squeeze of lemon juice â€“ into the center of the artichoke before adding the stuffing.
- Bake at 350°
- Serve hot. If you like, serve with some extra of melted butter or good olive oil to dip or drizzle, and have lemon wedges on hand for those who prefer a bit of tartness.