Recipes 2009
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Prep Time: 2 Hours
Yields: 6 Servings

At one time, stuffed artichokes were the Italians' best-kept secret. There are many flavor variations to this dish, especially those using fresh herbs such as basil, rosemary and oregano. This recipe, however, is a very simple rendition that is packed with flavor.

6 whole artichokes
3 cups freshly grated Romano cheese
2 tbsps minced garlic
6 cups Italian bread crumbs
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
3 cups olive oil

In a large mixing bowl, blend cheese, garlic and bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Clean artichokes by clipping tips of leaves with sharp scissors. Cut large stems from bottom so artichokes will sit flat. Rinse artichokes well and press firmly down to spread open leaves. Scrape inside center of artichoke down to bottom, removing all purple leaves and pulp with a tablespoon. Place one artichoke at a time into a bowl with mixed seasonings. To stuff, fill center then each leaf from top down, pushing as much into leaves as possible. Continue until all 6 artichokes have been stuffed with equal amounts of breading. Place stuffed artichokes in a large roasting pan with lid. Pour 1 inch of water in bottom. Slowly drizzle ½ cup olive oil over each artichoke to coat well. Cover, bring water to a boil then reduce to simmer. Allow artichokes to steam 1–1½ hours. Add water to pot occasionally so that artichokes do not stick and scorch. Test for tenderness by tasting one leaf removed from center. Serve one whole artichoke as an entrée or split in half and serve as an appetizer. NOTE: It is always best to grate fresh Romano cheese for this recipe. The pre-grated variety looses a lot of flavor on the shelf, so it is best to avoid it.

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