Stuffed Artichokes

Makes 4 servings.
Using bread crumbs and herbs to stuff artichokes for special occasions is a festive Italian tradition.

4 large California artichokes
2 cups focaccia or herbed bread crumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (a bit more to drizzle on top)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs chopped Italian parsley, 1 tbs chopped fresh oregano, Salt & pepper

Wash artichokes under cold running water. Cut off stems at base & remove small bottom leaves. Cut off top quarter of artichokes; discard. Spread leaves, remove center leaves and fuzzy centers with a spoon and discard. Toss bread crumbs with cheese, olive oil, garlic, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Stuff bread crumb mixture between leaves of artichokes and fill centers. Place stuffed artichokes in a 9-inch square baking dish. Pour 2 cups boiling water around the artichokes. Cover with lid or foil. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes or until artichokes are tender. Remove artichokes from baking dish and place on rack; cool to room temperature.