Stuffed Artichokes With Lemon-Garlic Bread Crumbs
Rick Tramonto prefaces this recipe in his book with this: “When I think of eating steak, particularly in a steakhouse, I think of artichokes because the vegetable is a great match for beef. Yet I am far more apt to cook and eat artichokes at home, rather than order them in a restaurant, because they are deliciously messy and shareable, and they make any family meal a happy, giggly one. If you haven’t cooked artichokes before, start now. This is an easy way to prepare them and one that tastes so good, you will be sold. Let’s face it: The dish makes a statement and has a discernible 'wow!' factor.”
For the artichokes:
- 4 large globe artichokes
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1 cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the stuffing
- 3 cups homemade or store-bought bread crumbs
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 cup julienned salumi (such as finocchiona or calabrese), optional
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- 4 lemon wedges
To prepare the artichokes: Cut the stems from the artichokes and discard. Slice about ½ inch off the tops and then, using scissors, trim off the remaining leaf tips. Rub the cut leaves with a lemon half.
Separate the leaves with your thumbs and pull out the purple leaves from the centers along with enough of the yellow leaves to expose the fuzzy chokes. Scoop out the chokes and squeeze lemon juice into the cavities.
In a four- to six-quart pot, stand the artichokes upright and add enough cold water to cover. Add the wine, oil, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and salt. Season with a little pepper and toss the squeezed lemon halves into the pot. Lay a clean kitchen towel directly on top of the artichokes to keep them submerged. Bring to a boil over high heat. Leave the towel in place, cover the pot, and simmer for about one hour, or until tender. Adjust the heat up or down to maintain a medium simmer.
Drain, reserving two cups of the cooking liquid. Let the artichokes cool for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are cool enough to handle.
To make the stuffing: Preheat oven to 350 F. If using homemade bread crumbs, spread them in a shallow baking pan and bake, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and burning, for about 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Set aside to cool completely. Do not turn off the oven.
In a mixing bowl, toss the cooled bread crumbs or the store-bought crumbs with ½ cup of the cheese, ½ cup of the parsley, ½ cup of the salumi, the garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the oil over the crumbs and toss to coat evenly.
Spoon about two tablespoons of the stuffing into the cavity of each artichoke. Spread the leaves as much as possible without breaking them and spoon more stuffing between the leaves. Top each artichoke with ½ teaspoon butter.
Arrange the artichokes in a shallow baking dish and pour the reserved poaching liquid into the dish. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle each artichoke with the remaining ½ cup cheese and ½ cup salumi.
Return to the oven for about five minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned. Using tongs, transfer an artichoke to each of four shallow bowls. Pour any remaining liquid into the bowls and serve the artichokes garnished with the remaining ½ cup parsley, lemon wedges and drizzles of olive oil.
From “Steak With Friends: At Home, With Rick Tramonto”