Baked stuffed artichokes are an Italian staple. They make for the perfect appetizer as each leaf is individually removed and enjoyed. Artichokes are a bit of work, but the flavor always pays off. There’s not an Italian household that doesn’t make or love artichokes. Italians enjoy their artichokes a thousand different ways and it’s very beloved vegetable all throughout Italy.
Truth is, majority of people have no idea how to cut, clean, prep, or eat artichokes and I understand why it can be confusing. I am going to show you the absolute best and foolproof method. You won’t ever look for another artichoke recipe after you try this one.
Artichokes are cleaned and stuffed with a delicious breadcrumb and Parmesan mixture that will have you licking your fingers and asking for more. You can dip each leaf into some melted butter and gently scrape the bottom of the leaf with the top of your teeth.
The only part of the artichoke that is not edible is the hairy “choke” inside which we scoop out completely before baking, and the sharp, fibrous outer portion of the leaves. You will need to discard the ‘choke’, toughest outer leaves and the stiff tips of the leaves. But the bases of the leaves are meaty and tender, and the innermost leaves can be edible in their entirety. The HEART of the artichoke is always the best part of this vegetable. The heart is also called artichoke bottom and it’s the central part of the plant from which all the leaves are attached.
Italian Stuffed Artichokes
- 3 large artichokes trimmed and cleaned (see notes below)
- Lemon water prevents the artichokes from oxidizing
- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs I use my homemade Italian Breadcrumbs
- ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 3 large minced garlic cloves
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil to moisten the breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup white wine I used Pinot Grigio
- salt to taste
- drizzle of olive oil before baking
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- I squeezed one lemon into a bowl of water and set it aside. Cut the stem off of the base of the artichoke so the choke sits flat. You can also remove the bottom outer leaves as they can be extremely tough. You can save the stems as we can peel them and bake them as well.
- Now cut a 1/3 from the top of the artichoke and lay it flat. Take kitchen scissors and cut the tips off all around the artichoke as well. The tips can be very sharp so we cut them all around.
- Carefully pull back or spread the artichoke with your hands out a bit as it will give you more movement and room.
- Take a small spoon and scoop out the middle completely which is called the “choke”. As you scoop, you are going to see a lot of “fuzz” so make sure you remove that completely. You will see the heart of the artichoke under the fuzz which is all white.
- I cut a little bit off the end of the stems and peel the outer layer as the stems can be baked and are completely edible as well.
- Place the cleaned artichoke upside down into the lemon water and proceed to do clean the other artichokes the same way. While the artichokes sit in the lemon water we can mix our stuffing.
- In a separate bowl add the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic, olive oil, parsley, and mix well. I used my homemade breadcrumbs which I will link here.
- When the breadcrumb mixture is done, take the artichokes out of the lemon water and leave them to drain on a kitchen towel or paper towel for 1-2 minutes to drain out any excess water.
- Place them in a baking dish (stem side down) and with a small spoon nestle in the breadcrumbs in between the leaves. You can pull the leaves back with your fingers to add in the filling.
- I like to add stuffing in the middle and all throughout the leaves. When you finish adding the stuffing, pour in the water and white wine in the baking dish making sure to pour it on the side of the artichokes.
- Season the artichokes on top with salt and add a drizzle of olive oil onto each one.
- Bake at 400F covered (with foil) for 30 minutes and uncovered for another 30 or until golden. You should be able to easily insert a knife into the leaves.
- Take it out of the oven and serve with melted butter. You can take each leaf dipping into the butter and squeeze the bottom of the leaf out with the top of your teeth. Some will be more me than others but the best part will always be the heart which is at at the bottom where all the leaves are attached.
- Served immediately or refrigerate for up to four days as artichokes can be reheated in the oven. Enjoy