Dietitian's tip: Stuffed artichokes make an appealing and substantial side dish. The simple but flavorful stuffing complements the artichokes' nuttiness without overpowering them.
- 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs, preferably whole wheat (whole meal)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 large artichokes
- 2 lemons, halved
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup plus 2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable stock, chicken stock or broth
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and olive oil. Toss to coat. Spread the crumbs in a shallow baking pan and bake, stirring once halfway through, until the crumbs are lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Working with 1 artichoke at a time, snap off any tough outer leaves and trim the stem flush with the base. Cut off the top third of the leaves with a serrated knife, and trim off any remaining thorns with scissors. Rub the cut edges with a lemon half to prevent discoloration. Separate the inner leaves and pull out the small leaves from the center. Using a melon baller or spoon, scoop out the fuzzy choke, then squeeze some lemon juice into the cavity. Trim the remaining artichokes in the same manner.
In a large bowl, toss the breadcrumbs with the Parmesan, garlic, parsley, lemon zest and pepper. Add the 2 to 4 tablespoons stock, 1 tablespoon at a time, using just enough for the stuffing to begin to stick together in small clumps.
Using 2/3 of the stuffing, mound it slightly in the center of the artichokes. Then, starting at the bottom, spread the leaves open and spoon a rounded teaspoon of stuffing near the base of each leaf. (The artichokes can be prepared to this point several hours ahead and kept refrigerated.)
In a Dutch oven with a tightfitting lid, combine the 1 cup stock, wine, shallot and oregano. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Arrange the artichokes, stem end down, in the liquid in a single layer. Cover and simmer until the outer leaves are tender, about 45 minutes (add water if necessary). Transfer the artichokes to a rack and let cool slightly. Cut each artichoke into quarters and serve warm.