Stuffed artichokes are just the thing for people who like to play with their food. Diners get to disassemble their own globe, scooping the leaves into a savory dip, then lightly scraping the tips against their teeth and downing them one at a time. After discarding the inner leaves and fuzzy center, thereís also a hidden treasure--the choke. Itís like finding a nugget of gold. Try these as an opening course for an Italian meal, or serve them as the main course with a pasta salad.
If ramps are not available, substitute 2 to 3 teaspoons minced garlic for the total of ramps.
Combine all ramps, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, basil and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut off artichoke stems at the base of the globes. Slice off and discard the top quarter of each artichoke. Clip off sharp leaf ends with kitchen shears. Spread open leaves and fill the opened pockets with breadcrumb/cheese mixture, dividing the mixture equally among the artichokes.
Combine juice and rinds of the lemon with olive oil in one or two large non-reactive pots. Add water to a depth of about 1/2 inch. Bring to simmer. Arrange stuffed artichokes in pot(s); cover tightly and cook over medium-low heat until the bottom of artichokes are tender when pierced with a fork, 30-40 minutes depending on size of artichokes. Serve warm with sauce of your choice.
Copyright by Terese Allen