Italian Stuffed Artichokes

This special treat is a wonderful addition at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. You will look forward to it all year! For easy eating, pull leaves from the artichoke one at a time. Draw each through your teeth slowly, scraping and eating only the tender flesh at the base. Continue until you reach the central cone or heart of tender young leaves. Eat this with a fork.

Yield

4 servings

Ingredients

4 large artichokes
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 cups soft Italian bread crumbs, toasted
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

Using a sharp knife, level the bottom of each artichoke and cut 1 inch from the tops. Using kitchen scissors, snip off tips of outer leaves; brush cut edges with lemon juice. Stand artichokes in a Dutch oven; add 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or until leaves near the center pull out easily.

Invert artichokes to drain; let stand for 10 minutes. With a spoon, carefully scrape out the fuzzy center portions of artichokes and discard.*

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Coat an 11 x 7-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, cheese, parsley, garlic, Italian seasoning, lemon peel, pepper and salt. Add olive oil; mix well. Gently spread artichoke leaves apart; fill with bread crumb mixture. Place in prepared baking dish.

Bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until filling is lightly browned.

Estimated Time

Preparation Time: 50 minutes
Standing Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes

Additional Information

* Just remove the choke (the hairy part between the leaves and heart). Do not discard the heart -- it's the best part of the artichoke. Do not eat the choke!

Nutritional Information

1 stuffed artichoke equals 212 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 8 mg cholesterol, 596 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrate, 9 g fiber, 11 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 vegetable, 1 starch, 1 lean meat, 1/2 fat.

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