I have always loved artichokes, and I adore cooking them so many ways. You can steam them, grill them, saute them, but the way my mother used to prepare them, and that I loved the most as a child is to stuff them with a breadcrumb and parmesan cheese mixture.
To prepare the artichoke you need to either slice the top of the artichoke off so that all of the pointy ends are removed. Or you can trim the tops with kitchen shears. I also cut the stem flush, so it is a flat surface for the artichoke to rest on.
To loosen the leaves so that you can stuff the artichoke, turn it over, and on a cutting board push the tips of the leaves into the cutting board, giving it a little pressure. This will open up the leave and give you room to put the stuffing.
Drizzle a small amount of olive oil into the plant. Use your fingers to spread it around between the leaves.
Stuff the breadcrumb filling in between all of the leaves.
Stuffing mix, this would fill 2-4 artichokes:
1 cup italian seasoned breadcrumbs
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.
When choosing a pot, keep in mind that it should be small enough to keep the artichokes upright, and a little snug. Fill then pan with water about 2/3 up the artichoke. Cover and bring water to a boil. Reduce the heat and steam the artichokes until the leaves pull out easily, about 45 minutes.
Serve with melted butter for dipping.
In the pictures below, I did top with shredded asiago cheese, and broiled for a minute until bubbly. Not necessary, but well, cheese.