Interestingly enough, in Italian households, Spring and artichokes seem to go hand in hand. We have fond memories of Frank’s father’s stuffed artichokes.
I basically followed his simple approach to the process, only adding lemon. I also decided to steam them in a Dutch oven instead of in a baking dish covered with aluminum foil.
- Rinse the artichoke, separating the tight leaves somewhat to eliminate any grit that might be trapped. Cut off the stem. Using scissors, clip off all of the sharp pointed ends. Scoop out at least part of the center sharp top of the choke. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the artichokes. Soak for at least a half hour in cold water. Toss the lemon skins into the water. I used a soup pot with a lid to keep the artichokes submerged..
- Dry the artichokes. Gently separate the leaves enough to sprinkle Progresso crumbs between the layers. Drizzle olive oil over the crumbs. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Place in a Dutch oven with a tight cover. Add a cup or two of water. You want the liquid to be about an inch deep. Toss in some pieces of lemon. Cover and bake in a 350 oven for about an hour. Artichokes are done when an individual leaf pulls out easily.
- There are recipes that include Parmesan cheese, additional seasoning, and a more complicated process, but this was Grandpa’s method. So, by definition, it’s the best method for our family.