Being raised a Southern Californian, we always ate artichokes. Some of the best artichokes are grown in the Central Valley of California, and these plump and vibrant green vegetables are great when steamed first, and then loaded with some of my favorite things to create this Bacon Parmesan Breadcrumb Stuffed Artichoke.
If you aren’t that familiar with artichokes, the leaves have a pointy needle on the end, which you can slice off with a knife before steaming. The easiest way is to cut about a 1/2 inch off the top, which eliminates most of the prickliest parts, and then you can snip the other needles off each tip with some scissors. Remove the stem as well, to create a flat bottom so the artichoke can sit upright in a dish. A quick steam in a salty bath, drain and cool, and your artichoke is ready to get stuffed.
While the artichoke is cooling, sizzle up some bacon in a skillet and drain most of the fat, leaving about a teaspoon. Chop the bacon into fine pieces and set aside. Toast panko breadcrumbs with some garlic in the bacon fat and a pat of butter (you want to build flavor at this point) until golden brown. Add back the bacon crumbles and stuff into the artichoke leaves before adding some shredded parmesan. Broil for 5 minutes or so, just until the cheese is melted and some of the tips begin to char. Remove and squeeze lemon juice over top. Artichokes are such a tasty treasure and they are fun to share as a meal with a friend, or to serve as an appetizer beforehand.
1 large artichoke
2 slices bacon
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 lemon, sliced into wedges
oil for cooking
salt and pepper
- Slice 1/2 inch off the top of artichoke and remove the stem for a flat bottom. Boil water and add 2 tablespoon salt. Add artichoke and steam for 18 minutes. Drain and cool.
- In a sauté pan, add bacon and cook until crispy. Remove and chop into fine pieces. Drain bacon fat from pan, leaving 1 teaspoon.
- Add butter to pan and melt over medium heat. Add garlic and stir. Cook 30 seconds and add Panko, stir. Add bacon crumbles and stir.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 8 grinds of black pepper, or 1/8 teaspoon. Remove from heat and cool.
- Drizzle broil-proof dish with 1 teaspoon olive oil and place artichoke in center. Spread leaves with fingers and sprinkle breadcrumb mixture between the leaves and on top.
- Add parmesan to leaves and top to artichoke. Broil for 5-7 minutes, or until cheese is melted and leaves are beginning to char slightly. Remove and squeeze lemon juice over top. Serve with remaining lemon wedges. Enjoy!