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Baked Stuffed Artichokes

6 small or 4 good-sized artichokes

2 lemon slices

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

6 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup chopped mushrooms

1/2 cup chopped ham

1 cup dry breadcrumbs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon thyme

1/4 teaspoon oregano

Additional olive oil

1 cup chicken broth or water

Grated Parmesan cheese

Cut tops from artichokes, remove stalks, and cook in boiling water (to which salt and lemon slices have been added) for 30 to 40 minutes. Artichokes are done when outside leaves can be easily pulled off. While they are cooking, saute garlic in olive oil a few minutes, then add mushrooms, ham, crumbs, and seasonings. Toss lightly but well.

When artichokes are cooked, remove chokes and center leaves and spread surrounding leaves back to provide a well for the filling. Fill with some of the mushroom-ham mixture and also spoon the mixture between the leaves.

Tie artichokes securely around the middle. Sprinkle well with olive oil, place in a baking dish, and add about 1 inch of broth.

Bake 30 minutes in a 375 degree F. preheated oven, basting twice with the pan juices. Five minutes before finishing, sprinkle a spoonful of grated Parmesan on each one. Untie, and serve as a main course at luncheon or as a first course at dinner.

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