Stuffed artichokes

Published: Wednesday, May. 23, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 2D

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cook time: 60 minutes

Serves 6

Adapted from "Lidia's Italy in America," Lidia Matticchio Bastianich (Knopf, $35, 359 pages.).

INGREDIENTS

Juice of 3 lemons

Zest of 1 lemon

6 large artichokes

1 1/2 cups fine dry bread crumbs

1/2 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 large hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup dry white wine

1/8 teaspoon pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

To prepare artichokes, fill a bowl with cold water. Add the juice of one lemon and the squeezed-out lemon halves.

Peel and trim the stem of each artichoke. Pull off any tough outer leaves and discard. Using a paring knife, trim away any tough parts around the base and stem of the artichoke. With a serrated knife, cut off the top third of the artichoke and discard. Push the leaves open to expose the fuzzy choke. With a small spoon, scrape out the choke and discard. This will expose the heart at the bottom of the artichoke. Put the prepared artichoke in the bowl of water and lemon.

Once all artichokes are cleaned and prepared, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare the stuffing.

Mix together the bread crumbs, grated cheese, and pine nuts in a bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup of the parsley, 1/2 cup of the olive oil, the eggs, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the lemon zest. Toss with a fork until all of the crumbs are moistened.

Remove the cleaned artichokes from the water and drain them upside down on a kitchen towel. Spread the leaves of an artichoke open and fill the center with stuffing. Continue to work outward, sprinkling and packing stuffing into the rows of leaves as you separate them. Put the artichoke in a baking dish that will hold all six snugly. Repeat with remaining artichokes.

Pour the wine and 1 cup of water around the artichokes in the baking dish; add the remaining lemon juice and the artichoke stems. Season the liquid with the remaining salt and pepper. Drizzle the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the artichokes.

Tent the dish with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Uncover, and bake until the artichokes are tender all the way through and the crumbs are browned and crusty, about 20 to 30 minutes more (depending on the size and toughness of your artichokes).

If the cooking juices are too thin, pour them into a small pan and boil for a few minutes to reduce. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley. Serve the artichokes in shallow soup plates, topped with the cooking juices.

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