4 medium artichokes
8 teaspoons lemon juice
1 medium lemon, sliced
4 whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt, divided
4 cups cubed Italian bread (1/2-inch cubes)
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 Using a sharp knife, level the bottom of each artichoke and cut 3/4 in. from the top. Using kitchen scissors, snip off the tips of the outer leaves; brush cut edges with lemon juice.
2 Stand artichokes in a Dutch oven; add 2 in. of water. Add the lemon slices, peppercorns, bay leaf and 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until tender and leaves near the center pull out easily. Invert artichokes to drain. Carefully scrape out the fuzzy center portion of artichokes with a spoon and discard.
3 In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes, parsley, Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons oil, lemon peel, garlic, pepper and remaining salt. Gently spread artichoke leaves apart; fill with stuffing. Place in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish; drizzle with the remaining oil. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until heated through and stuffing is lightly browned.
Yield: 4 servings.