These stuffed artichokes really stand out when the main course is on the simple side; marinated and grilled veal chops, for example. Use moderately-sized artichokes because the jumbo ones take forever to cook and won’t fit in the average home kitchen stockpot. — Rick Rodgers, The Big Book of Sides
- 2½ Cups soft breadcrumbs, made from slightly stale crusty bread in a blender or food processor
- ⅔ Cup freshly grated Romano cheese (about 3 ounces)
- 7 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing
- 1 Teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 artichokes (about 8 ounces each)
- 1 lemon, cut in half crosswise
- Lemon wedges, for serving
Mix the breadcrumbs, cheese, ¼ cup of the oil, the oregano, and garlic in a medium bowl. Season the stuffing with salt and pepper.
If necessary, cut the stem from each artichoke so it sits flat; discard the stems. Cut the top inch from each artichoke. Using kitchen scissors, snip off the thorny leaf tips. Rub the artichokes all over with the lemon halves. Place an artichoke on a plate, top-side up. Work around the artichoke to spread the leaves open — do not bother with the thin leaves that form the core of the artichoke. Force one-quarter of the stuffing between the leaves as well as possible, patting any excess stuffing over the top of the artichoke.
Choose a saucepan large enough to hold the artichokes. Pour in enough cold water to come ½-inch up the sides of the pot. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the oil and 2 teaspoons salt. Stand the artichokes, bottoms down, in the pot. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over the tops of the artichokes. Bring them to a boil over high heat.
Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, adding hot water as needed to the stockpot if the water cooks away, until a leaf from the bottom layer can be easily pulled off, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet.
Using long tongs, transfer the artichokes to the baking sheet. Bake until the stuffing is lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve the artichokes hot or cooled to room temperature, with the lemon wedges and a bowl to collect the leaves.