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Stuffed Artichokes

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4 artichokes (should be bright green with tightly packed leaves)
1 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
1 cup bread crumbs, toasted
2 tablespoons olive oil (for toasting bread crumbs)
1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil


Prepare artichokes for cooking by cutting off stem, even with artichoke bottom. With kitchen shears, cut off the thorny top of each leaf. Under running water, carefully pull each leaf away from the center and rinse thoroughly. Place the artichokes in a large pot filled with water to cover 2/3 their height and the vinegar or lemon juice. Bring the water to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the artichokes test done (a knife tip inserted in the base should meet with slight resistance), about 30-45 minutes. Rinse the artichokes in cold water. Place cooked artichokes upside down on paper towels to drain. In a skillet, toast bread crumbs in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine the toasted bread crumbs, cheese and parsley. When the artichokes are cool, carefully pull the leaves away from the center in order to reach the choke. With a spoon, scrape out the fuzzy choke, taking care not to damage the heart. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture into the center cavity and between the leaves of each artichoke. Push the leaves back into a closed position. Place the artichokes in a glass serving dish and drizzle with the lemon juice and olive oil. Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Makes 4 servings

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