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Stuffed Artichokes with Lemon Aïoli

(recipe, Kelly Myers)


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Introduction

These artichokes are savory and satisfying as they are, but especially good with Lemon Aïoli. See my Front Burner column on artichokes for instructions on how to prepare an artichoke for stuffing. To eat these artichokes, pull off a leaf (scooping up a bit of stuffing) and then scrape off with your teeth the tender base of each leaf. When you get to the heart of the artichoke, it's time to pick up a knife and fork.

Ingredients

  1. 2 large artichokes, prepared for stuffing and held in acidulated water
  2. ½ cup plain breadcrumbs
  3. ½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  6. 1 tsp. chopped mint
  7. ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  8. ⅛ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  9. Salt
  10. 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  11. ¼ cup water

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Pecorino, garlic, parsley, mint, 3 Tbsp. olive oil, black pepper, and two pinches of salt. Taste the breadcrumb mixture to check for salt; you want it be slightly salty, as this is the seasoning and flavoring of the artichokes.
  3. Drain artichokes and shake off excess water. Divide the stuffing in two. For each artichoke, sprinkle salt over artichoke heart and then drop in about half of the allotted stuffing. With one thumb, pry open each artichoke leaf and drop in a little stuffing. Continue until there is stuffing between all the bracts. Sprinkle any of the remaining breadcrumb mixture over the top of the artichokes.
  4. Choose a heavy-bottomed, ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting lid that just fits the artichokes. Stew the onion in 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-low heat until translucent. Add a pinch of salt and ¼ cup water, then bring to a simmer. Turn off heat and set artichokes in the pot on top of the onions, then drizzle the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil over them. Cover the artichokes and bake for 60 to 90 minutes, until a paring knife inserts easily.
  5. Alternately, stew the onions in a skillet and then transfer them to a glass baking dish. Proceed as above, then cover the artichokes with parchment paper and then very tightly with foil.