Stuffed Artichokes

Stuffed Artichokes
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Details

. Difficulty: Medium . Serves: 6 people . Preparation time: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Ingredients

Grated zest from 1 lemon (save lemon for juicing)
Juice of 2 lemons, freshly squeezed
6 large artichokes
1½ cups fine dried bread crumbs
½ cup freshly grated Grana Padano
½ cup pine nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
½ cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large Hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup dry white wine
⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. To clean and prepare the artichokes, fill a bowl with about a quart of cold water, and add the juice of one lemon, plus the squeezed-out lemon halves. Peel and trim the stem of the first artichoke, reserve the stem, and put artichoke and stem in the lemon water. 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 out to expose the fuzzy purple choke. With a small spoon, scrape out the choke to expose the heart. Put the prepared artichoke in the bowl of water and lemon juice to keep it from oxidizing. Repeat with remaining artichokes For the stuffing: In a medium bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, grated cheese, and chopped pine nuts. Stir in ½ cup of the parsley, ½ cup of the olive oil, the eggs, ¼ teaspoon salt, and the reserved lemon zest. Toss with a fork until the crumbs are moistened with the olive oil.
Remove the cleaned artichokes from the water, and drain them upside down on a kitchen towel. Spread the leaves of an artichoke open, by lightly prying with your fingers, and fill the center with the stuffing. Continue to work outward, sprinkling and packing stuffing into the rows of leaves as you separate them. When it is stuffed, set the artichoke in a baking dish that will hold all six snugly. Repeat with the remaining artichokes.
Pour the wine and 1 cup water around the artichokes, and add the remaining lemon juice and artichoke stems. Season the liquid with the remaining salt and the crushed red pepper flakes. 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. If the cooking juices are too thin, set the baking pan with artichokes on the stove and boil for a few minutes to reduce the sauce to your liking. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley. Serve the artichokes in shallow soup plates, surrounded with the cooking juices.
Lidia Bastianich
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