- 6 large artichokes
- 6 lemons
- 10 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 1-1/2 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 cup scallions, chopped
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- 12 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 2-1/2 to 3 cups olive oil
- 6 lemon slices
- 1 dash lemon juice or white vinegar
- Using scissors, trim off the pointed ends of each artichoke and rub a lemon on the cut ends to prevent browning. Slice off the stem ends of each artichoke so they stand up straight in the pan.
- Combine all the ingredients, except the artichokes and lemon slices in a large bowl. Add 2 cups of the olive oil and mix well until it has the texture of stuffing.
- Spread the leaves of each artichoke open, without breaking them, and tuck as much stuffing as possible down into each leaf, tapping the artichoke gently to let any loose stuffing fall off.
- Stand the artichokes in a casserole that is stovetop safe or a metal roasting pan just large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add water to a depth of 1½ inches and pour a generous amount of olive oil over each artichoke, letting it seep in. (If you prefer, you can add a dash of lemon juice or white vinegar to the water to help the artichokes retain their fresh green hue.) Juice a fresh lemon over each artichoke, and top with a slice of lemon.
- Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and steam the artichokes, covered, checking occasionally to see if it’s necessary to add more water, for 45 minutes to an hour (possibly more), or until the leaves pull away easily and the pith — the tender, edible flesh at the base of each leaf — is soft. Serve hot or warm.
- Optional: Add 1 cup fried chopped bacon or pancetta to stuffing mixture. The stuffed artichokes can be prepared in advance and reheated before serving. Leftover stuffing keeps for 2 weeks in the refrigerator and longer in the freezer. The stuffing is so delicious, it can be cooked and used to enhance almost any meal.