Delicious and full of antioxidants, fiber and iron!
Rinse artichokes under cold water and cut the stem so it is flush with the base on all four artichokes. Cut 1½ inches off of the top of each artichoke.
Mix your breadcrumbs, parsley, ½ a tablespoon of salt and the Parmigiano Reggiano in a bowl. Using your thumbs, start to peel back the leaves and create some space between the leaves. Using your thumb and your index finger, pull back the leaves and sprinkle about ¼ – ½ a teaspoon of your breadcrumb mixture between each leaf.
Place your artichokes inside the pot, petals facing up. Pour water into the pot until it climbs about an inch up from the base of the artichoke. Heat the pot over medium heat. Separately in a small pan heat ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil and add the garlic. Cook on low heat for about 3 minutes, stirring often. Spoon the garlic and oil over the artichokes evenly before they start to steam. Cover the pot.
Set your kitchen timer for 35 minutes. Occasionally peek inside the pot to make sure the water has not evaporated. If the water has evaporated you must add more water to avoid burning the artichokes. You can check to see if they are ready by tugging at one of the inner leaves (with tongs). If the inner leaves come loose without any effort, then your artichokes are ready. The artichokes I used for this recipe were very big and they took about 1 hour to cook. Keep that in mind.
Uncover your artichokes and let all of the steam escape. Carefully remove each artichoke and place in a large serving dish. Using a spoon, gently open up your artichokes even more (like a blossomed flower). Sprinkle some more Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh parsley over top and serve with lemon wedges.
Before serving to guests – taste a few leaves for desired salt/pepper and add if necessary.
This appetizer/side pairs well with spaghetti aglio e olio and a glass of Pinot Grigio.