World Cuisine

  • 4 fresh artichokes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling (optional)
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 75 g (3 oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
  • finely grated rind of ½ lemon
  • handful of parsley, chopped
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

Prepare the artichokes by cutting off the bases so that they can lie flat, then trim off the top 2 cm (¾ inch) of each artichoke. Using kitchen scissors, snip away any spikes on the leaves. Cook the artichokes in a saucepan of boiling water for 20 minutes or until you can easily pull away one of the leaves.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan, add the shallot and cook for 3 minutes until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds, then add the breadcrumbs, lemon rind, parsley, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Drain the artichokes, then cool under cold running water and drain again. Pull away the very pale leaves from the centre of each artichoke, then, using a spoon, scrape around below these leaves to completely remove the hairy choke, ensuring the flesh of the soft heart, which lies just beneath, remains.

Place the artichokes on a lightly greased baking sheet and spoon a little of the breadcrumb mixture into the centre of each. Squeeze over a little lemon juice and drizzle with extra olive oil, if liked. Bake in a preheated oven, 200°C (400°F), Gas Mark 6, for 10–15 minutes until the artichokes are very tender and the breadcrumbs are crisp.

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