Artichokes just feel like a weekend vegetable. They take a little time and patience, which, let’s be real, is definitely in more abundance on a Saturday versus a Tuesday. My parents have a ritual of making them on Saturdays to enjoy while playing golf- the card game, not the sport, which is kind of adorbs. Artichokes really remind me of my dad, and him being home on the weekends. He traveled a TON for work throughout my life, so having him home and in the kitchen or at the grill was always the sign of relaxing afternoons and evenings to come. We always ate our artichokes with melted butter, my dad usually spiking his with some garlic (and probably too much salt), which always left me feeling gypped with the regular plain melted butter, and I would often steal his leftovers once he was done eating.
These artichokes are a slight departure from the simple ones from my youth- which I still love BTW. They get par-boiled to ensure tenderness and easy leaf peeling. Then, they get stuffed to the gills with a delicious, buttery, garlicky, parmigiano-laced breadcrumb mixture. A lemony garlic butter with a splash of white wine keeps everything from drying out, while injecting even more deliciousness into this situation. Thinly sliced lemons get piled on, and subsequently get all caramelized and roast-y in the oven. All things I am into. Then, just when things can’t get any more ideal, a bright basil pesto comes along to make dipping dreams come true. As the kids say, letteth us getteth into it.
Trim and clean 3 large artichokes, then cut in half. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add your artichoke halves, boiling for roughly 15 mins, until fork tender. When done, drain, and lay atop a bed of paper towels to drain excess moisture. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Make your breadcrumb mixture. In a bowl, combine your breadcrumbs, lemon zest, rosemary, and garlic. Add 1 tbs butter + 1 tbs olive oil to a pan over medium heat, and add your breadcrumbs, tossing to coat with the butter, and ensure even browning. Once they reach that golden goodness, transfer them immediately to a bed of paper towels to drain excess oil and cool. In a small saucepan combine your butter, lemon zest, white wine, garlic, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add your halved artichokes to the baking dish of your choice. I used a 9 x 13 ceramic casserole dish. To your breadcrumb mixture, add your grated parmigiano, mixing to combine. Distribute the breadcrumb mixture by gently pulling back the leaves, and generously sprinkling- key word being generous! You really can’t have too much of this breadcrumb mixture happening. Do this with each layer of leaves, adding more to the center of each artichoke before laying them in the pan leaf-side-down. This ensures an appropriate amount of browning to that center situation for the show pony of the artichoke experience- the heart.
Once you have your arties appropriately stuffed, add your white wine garlic butter to the pan, adding enough additional white wine so the liquid comes up to just barely the halfway mark of the artichoke. When pouring your butter mixture, make sure to get each individual artichoke to ensure moisture during the roasting process. Add your thinly sliced lemons, a good drizzle of EVOO, and you are in business. Throw in the oven for about 30 mins, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. While in the oven, make your aioli. In a food processor, combine your mayo, lemon juice and zest, grated garlic clove, parsley, and basil. Pulse until emulsified, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
The lemony breadcrumbs behind each and every leaf are so GD addictive, and truly…THAT HEART THOUGH. A fork and knife situation that I have foregone to eat with my hands countless times. Honestly, I could call these dinner. To be really honest, I could, would, and have called most apps dinner! Apps are truly the best. Now, I’m just dreaming of all the calamari I’ve ever consumed in life, which is a major sidetrack, so please, just make these for you, and someone who makes you happy. Happy weekending.
Carciofi Ripieni AKA Stuffed Roasted Artichokes With Parmigiano Breadcrumbs, Lots of Lemon, + Basil Aioli
3 large artichokes, trimmed, choke removed, halved
For Breadcrumb Mixture:
2 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs (or fresh if you have on hand)
Zest of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 sprig rosemary, finely minced
3/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
2 tbs butter
2 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
For the butter:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbs freshly chopped thyme
1 cup dry white wine (plus more to add 1/2 way up artichokes)
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
Thinly sliced lemon wedges to lay atop artichokes pre-bake
For the basil aioli:
1 cup good mayonnaise
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup fresh parsley
Juice of half a lemon
1 grated small garlic clove
Salt and pepper to taste