Roasted Artichokes Roman-style
8 medium Artichokes
8 sprigs flat-leaf Parsley, leaves chopped, stems reserved
6 large mint leaves, chopped
4 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves chopped, stems reserved
6 cloves Garlic
2 Tablespoons grated Pecorino cheese
½ cup homemade breadcrumbs
XV Olive Oil
Squeeze ½ lemon into a bowl of cold water. Snap off the tough green outer leaves from the artichokes working in a circular fashion until they show mostly yellow. Trim off the remaining pointed green tip. Invert the artichoke and trim the green outer layer from stem and heart. Cut in half lengthwise and with a small spoon remove the fuzzy choke. Rub the cut surfaces with lemon and drop into the water.
Heat some olive oil in a pan that can hold the artichokes in one layer. With the flat side of your knife squash 3 of the garlic cloves and add to the pan along with the herb stems which can be tied in a bundle for easy removal later. Drain and rinse prepared artichokes and add to the pan with herbs and garlic. Salt well. Turn up the heat to medium and stir the artichokes well in the flavoured oil for a minute or two. Add cold water to almost cover the artichokes and bring to a boil. Cover pan and cook over a lively heat until tender to the point of a knife and most of the liquid is absorbed, 8-10 minutes.
While the artichokes are cooking prepare the stuffing. In a bowl combine the chopped herbs, cheese, breadcrumbs and the remaining 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped. Add a splash of olive oil and squeeze the mixture together well with your hands to extract the flavours.
When the artichokes are cool enough to handle place them cut side up in a roasting pan large enough to hold them in one layer. Place a spoonful of stuffing in each artichoke half pushing it in to the leaves and the depression where you removed the choke. Scatter any extra stuffing over the pan. Flip the artichokes so they bake stuffed side down, drizzle with olive oil and bake in a 425C oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes.