These artichokes make the perfect start to any meal. To make the homemade bread crumbs called for in this preparation, take two or three 1⁄2"-thick slices of Italian bread, slice off the crusts, and process the bread in a food processor until finely chopped.
1 1⁄4 cups homemade plain bread crumbs
3 tbsp. freshly grated pecorino romano
1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. chopped fresh mint
3 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt, preferably kosher
Freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 large artichokes
1. In a medium-size bowl, combine the bread crumbs, pecorino, parmigiano-reggiano, garlic, mint, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly. Add the olive oil in a slow stream, stirring continuously.
2. Cut about 3⁄4" off the tops of the artichokes and snip off the remaining pointy tips. Cut the stems off so that the artichokes will sit without toppling over. Pry open the artichoke leaves and fill the spaces with the bread crumb mixture.
3. Place the artichokes in a pot that will hold them snugly. Add water to a depth of 1". Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30–45 minutes, depending on the size of the artichokes. Test for doneness by pulling out a leaf and tasting for tenderness. Serve hot or at room temperature.