Carciofi Ripieni (Stuffed Artichokes)

Course : Artichokes
Serves: 6
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6 medium artichokes
1/2 medium lemon
2 cups soft bread crumbs
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped parsley
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 teaspoon salt and pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil

Preparation / Directions:

Wash the artichokes and invert to drain. Cut the stems straight across, leavinga level base so the artichokes will stand upright. Remove the tough outer leaves at the base and cut about 1/2" off the tips of the remaining leaves. With a sharp knife, slice the top of the artichokes straight across, taking off about 1". As you trim, rub the artichokes with the cut lemon to prevent discoloration. Tap them firmly on a hard surface to force the center leaves slightly open. Combine the bread crumbs, cheese, parsley and garlic. Blend well and season with salt and pepper. Distribute the filling among the 6 artichokes, placing some in the center and tucking some between the spread leaves. Close the leaves gently and arrange the artichokes close together in a baking pan. Pour 1 Tbsp of oil over each. Add 1 cup of water to the bottom of the pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake in a 325 F oven, basting occasionally, for about 1 hour 45 minutes, or until the leaves pull out easily. Add waterif necessary to maintain a little liquid in the pan.

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