Anchovies are pure magic in this dish, where they transform breadcrumbs into savory, crunchy bits for divine stuffed artichokes.
Rach likes to serve these with her Shrimp Scampi.
Adapted from Rachael Ray 50: Memories and Meals from a Sweet and Savory Life by Rachael Ray. Copyright © 2019 by Rachael Ray. Used with permission by Ballantine Books. All rights reserved.
- 4 large male artichokes, with pointed leaves
- 4 lemons
- About 2 tablespoons salt
- About ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus some for drizzling
- ¼ cup butter, cut into pieces (½ stick)
- About 16 anchovy fillets
- 10 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 scant teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 8 cups breadcrumbs
- 1 large bundle fresh flat-leaf parsley, 1 ½ to 2 cups packed with leaves
- 1 bunch fresh mint, about ½ cup packed with leaves
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1 cup grated pecorino
Trim the bottoms and edges of the lower leaves of the artichokes and rub with 1 cut lemon. Fill a large pot of water and add the juice of 2 lemons. Bring the water to a boil, and then reduce heat to maintain a medium rolling boil. Add salt. Add the artichokes and cook them for about 20 minutes in boiling water, until the leaves pull easily away. Drain on kitchen towels until cool enough to handle. Pull out center leaves down to hairy fibrous choke. Scrape the choke out carefully with a small spoon. Clean all artichokes.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add EVOO. Add butter and melt it into the oil. When it foams, add the anchovies and melt them into oil—they will dissipate as the heat works on them and become a natural, nutty salt flavoring for the oil and butter. Add garlic, black pepper and red pepper flakes and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Add breadcrumbs and toast for 5 to 7 minutes, until deeply golden. Remove pan from heat.
Place parsley and mint in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to finely chopped. Add the parsley and mint to the breadcrumbs. Add zest of 1 lemon and stir in cheeses.
Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
Place the artichokes in a large baking dish. Fill the leaves from the outside into the heart with breadcrumbs, mounding a bit more at the center over the heart. Add water to a depth of ⅛ inch in the bottom of the dish and cover the dish with foil.
Roast the artichokes for about 20 minutes, until heated through. Uncover the dish and drizzle with more EVOO. Roast for another 20 minutes, until tips of leaves curl and brown stuffing is set. Douse the artichokes with the juice of 1 lemon and serve. Pull several leaves onto appetizer dishes per person and place 1 to 2 bowls on the table to collect the outer leaves. The hearts are first come first served!