- 2 large artichokes
- 8 slices of bread (your choice on the type – I use sourdough)
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/2 teaspoon parsley
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons of water
- 1/2 fresh lemon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. To prepare the artichokes, cut off the stems and then with kitchen scissors, clip off the ends of all the leaves. Lay the artichokes on their sides. Use a serrated or really sharp knife to carefully cut about an inch off the tops. Fill your kitchen sink or a large pan with enough water to cover the artichokes and lay them in the water. Add the cut lemon (this keeps the cut leaves from browning). Leave them in there about 20 minutes. This can often help to open them up a bit and make it easier to stuff the leaves. Side note about the stems: if they’re very large, you can cut off the outer part and eat the middle. Just throw them into the baking pan or dish and bake with the stuffed artichokes.
For the stuffing:
There are 2 ways you can prepare the stuffing. The first is to use a food processor to process the bread slices until they’re a bread crumb consistency. The other is you can just pull apart the bread slices in small chunks. Pick a method and then put the bread crumbs or chunks into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle in the olive oil while you’re stirring the crumbs or chunks around. Don’t worry about trying to get full coverage. You’re using the olive oil more as a flavoring than a coating. Sprinkle in the celery salt and parsley.
Retrieve your artichokes out of the water. Tap them upside down to get the water out. You can also pat them dry with a towel. The most difficult part is getting the leaves in the center of the artichoke pulled out a bit so you can put more stuffing in it. You’ll want to gently push apart all of the leaves and then pull at the center leaves a bit to get them out. Watch that some of them might have spiky points still. Sometimes you can use tongs for this. I never pull out the entire bit but just enough to put about 1/4 cup of stuffing in there. I lay one of the pulled out leaves over the bottom of the artichoke center and then pack it with stuffing. Add a little bit of stuff down into the large outer leaves. You usually can’t get all of the leaves leading to the center stuffed and that’s okay.
Once the artichokes are stuffed, get a large baking pan or dish. Add the artichokes in and pour in the 1/4 cup of water. You can also squeeze some of the lemon into the water if you want. I also like to cover the pan with either a lid or just foil. If you use an actual lid, sometimes it will affect the baking time. You want to avoid the tops getting burnt.
Baking times are going to vary based on how big the artichokes are and how stuffed they are. Typical times is going to be around 60-75 minutes. You will need to check them for doneness and this is how you do it. Get tongs and carefully try and pull off one of the lower leaves. When it pulls off easily, it’s done.
Eat them right away as that’s how they’re best – fresh out of the oven.