Steamed artichokes are stuffed with a briny, lemony mixture of capers and cornichons followed by plenty of garlicky breadcrumbs in this impressive starter.
Roasted-Garlic Butter: Mash together butter, garlic confit, and lemon zest. Season with salt. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 2 weeks, or freeze up to 3 months. (Makes 1/2 cup.)
Stuffed Artichokes: Halve lemon and squeeze 1 tablespoon juice. Cut second half into wedges. Snap tough outer leaves off artichokes; using a serrated knife, remove top third from each. Trim stems so artichokes stand upright. Rub cut surfaces with juiced lemon half to prevent discoloration.
Set a steamer basket in a large pot. Add enough water to reach just below basket and bring to a boil. Place artichokes in basket, stem-sides up. Cover and steam, adding more water if necessary, until hearts are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
Heat garlic with oil in a small pan over medium until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add capers, cornichons, and reserved lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Melt 2 tablespoons garlic butter in small skillet over medium-high heat (reserve remaining garlic butter for another use). Add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring, until golden, about 6 minutes.
Carefully peel back leaves of each artichoke, exposing fuzzy chokes; scoop them out with a spoon. Spoon 1 tablespoon caper mixture into each hollow and sprinkle more between leaves. Divide crumbs among hollows and serve, with remaining sauce and lemon wedges.
If you don't have time to make roasted-garlic butter, you can use regular unsalted butter to toast the breadcrumbs.