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Monday Night Martha: Stuffed Artichokes

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Artichokes rock. If you don't believe us, check out these photos from the annual Artichoke Festival in Castroville, California. It's held every May and celebrates all things 'choke - fried artichokes, pickled artichokes and even creamed artichokes.

Stuffed artichokes is a dish our Italian grandmother used to make. When the artichokes are cooking, they fill the house with a bread crumby, oregano smell that we adore. Here is her recipe.

Stuffing for 4 Large Artichokes

3/4 C bread crumbs
1/4 C romano cheese
2 T parsley
1 tsp. black pepper
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 oz. cheese (diced)

Cut the top inch off the artichoke using a large chef's knife. Trim the stem and pick off the bottom leaves near the stem. Using a pair of scissors, cut the spiky ends off the remaining leaves so the top is totally flat all the way across. Then, thoroughly wash and drain the artichokes.

Mix the bread crumbs, cheese, parsley and pepper together and spoon it into the artichokes. Then add chopped garlic and diced cheese.

You can cook the artichokes any number of ways - in a steamer, a dutch oven, or a Crock-Pot. If you use a dutch oven or a Crock-Pot, put about two inches of water in the bottom. Place artichokes in the water and steam for at least one and a half hours.

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