The Best Stuffed Artichokes

The Best Stuffed Artichokes

Stuffed artichokes were the "something special" on the table at all of my holiday gatherings and special occasions growing up. My grandmother would make them, and now the tradition has been passed on to the rest of the family. We would "fight" over the artichoke heart at the end. The filling is like a very moist dressing/stuffing you would have at Thanksgiving, but amped up with lots of garlic and cheese. The bottom of the artichoke leaves are tender and meaty with a subtle earthy, artichoke flavor. I like to dip the heart in a lemony mayo or butter at the end. Serve as a family-style appetizer or as part of a meal alongside a salad and grilled chicken.
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  1. Step 1

    Cut top 1/4 of an artichoke off and discard. Trim off the top 1/2 inch from remaining leaves. Cut off bottom inch from stalk to create a flat bottom. Turn artichoke upside down and bang on surface to loosen the leaves. Zest 3/4 teaspoon of lemon zest from the lemon and set aside. Cut lemon in half and rub cut leaves and stem of artichoke with lemon. Repeat artichoke prep with remaining artichokes.
  2. Step 2

    Combine reserved lemon zest with bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and stir well.
  3. Step 3

    Sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly into all the artichoke leaves, avoiding the thistle leaves in the direct center. Work mixture evenly into each crevice of each artichoke until all of the mixture is used.
  4. Step 4

    Pour water in the bottom of a Dutch oven. Add remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Set artichokes in the pot so that they are touching, so that they may remain upright during cooking. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until the leaves release very easily, about 1 hour.
  5. Step 5

    Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with more parsley if desired. Serve warm or room temperature.