The key to success with this recipe is to look for deep-green artichokes that are heavy for their size with tightly shut leaves; artichokes are best cooked the same day they're bought
- 2 lemons
- 4 medium artichokes
- 3 cups fresh breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 to 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh oregano
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Zest one lemon; set zest aside. Cut the lemon in half, and squeeze juice into a large bowl of water, add lemon rinds. Trim artichokes; working with one at a time, snap off tough outer bottom leaves. Cut off upper third of artichoke. Snip remaining leaf tips with scissors. Trim long stem, leaving a flat bottom. Peel stem and place in acidulated water. Gently spread artichoke leaves away from center, revealing choke. Remove choke with a spoon and discard. Place artichoke in acidulated water. Repeat with remaining artichokes.
In a medium bowl, combine breadcrumbs, Parmigiano and Pecorino cheeses, 4 tablespoons oil, parsley, oregano, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. Remove artichoke stems from water, and drain well. Chop finely, and stir into breadcrumb mixture.
Remove artichokes from water, and drain well. Fill each artichoke with 1/4 of breadcrumb mixture; spread leaves to allow stuffing to sit inside, and mound stuffing on top. Place 1/2 cup water in bottom of a 9-by-9-inch baking dish. Fit artichokes into baking dish. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake until heart is soft when pierced with the tip of a knife, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove foil; bake until breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 10 minutes more. Cut remaining lemon into wedges, and serve on the side.