This is a fun way to eat an artichoke, alone or with a friend. I had artichokes prepared this way for the first time in an Italian restaurant in San Francisco in the eighties, so I guess this recipe goes with shoulder pads and dingle ball earrings! This recipe serves two people generously or it could be shared by four people as an appetizer.
1/2 fresh lemon
1 cup bread crumbs, toasted
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup capers
1/4 cup minced sweet basil
1/3 cup grated fresh parmesan
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sherry wine vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. With a large knife, trim the top 1/2 inch from the artichokes. Cut off the stems and using a paring knife peel around the base and trim about 1/4″ off the bottom. Break off the tough leaves from the bottom. Rub all the cut edges with the lemon half.
2. Put the artichokes bottom up in a steamer and cook for about 20 minutes over simmering water. Check to see that an outer leaf pulls off easily and is tender.
3. Cool them upside down for 5 minutes, turn over and place in a small bowl. Separate the leaves and scoop out the center including the choke.
4. Place the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and stir together. Now you are ready to stuff the atichokes.
5. Mound up the filling in the center and spread the rest out over the artichokes.
Serve while they’re warm or wait and serve at room temperature.