Carciofi col Burro e il Parmigiano

Artichokes with Butter and Parmesan

A Part of the artichoke most people discard, to their loss, is the stem. Once trimmed of its tough, green outer layer, the stem is all tender pulp, similar to the heart, with concentrated artichoke flavor. In this recipe the artichokes are stuffed with a mixture composed of their own chopped stems, plus garlic, parsley, and Parmesan. They are cooked entirely in butter. The taste is essence of artichoke, faintly aromatized by the garlic and parsley—delicate enough, in its savoriness, to accompany a broad variety of meat dishes.


  • 4 medium to large artichokes
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano (Parmesan)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper in a grinder
  • 5 tablespoons butter


  1. Detach the stems from the artichokes. With a paring knife trim away the entire green outer layer of the stems, leaving only the pale, tender core. Chop the core very fine and set it aside.
  2. Clean the artichokes as described, snapping off all the dark green outer leaves at the base and slicing off 2 inches or more from the top of the exposed cone of leaves. Leave attached only the edible, tender, pale portion of the leaves that is close to the bottom of the artichoke. With the tip of a paring knife remove the small, prickly, purple-tipped leaves in the artichoke’s hollow and scrape away the fuzzy choke beneath them. Rub all cut edges of the artichoke with lemon, squeezing the lemon all the while, to keep them from turning black.
  3. In a small bowl combine the chopped artichoke stems, garlic, parsley, grated cheese, salt, and a few grindings of pepper. Mix thoroughly and divide the contents of the bowl into 4 equal parts.
  4. Stuff each artichoke’s cavity with 1 of the parts of the mixture.
  5. Choose a lidded saucepan or sauté pan that can accommodate all the artichokes snugly. Put 1 tablespoon of the butter in the pan, put in the artichokes top side up, and put 1 tablespoon of butter over each artichoke. Pour in enough water to come ½ inch up the sides of the pan. Cover the pan and turn on the heat to medium.
  6. After 10 minutes, check to see if there is still liquid in the pan and if the artichokes are done. If they are very fresh, they may already be tender, which you can determine by pricking them with a fork. If it enters easily, they are cooked. At this point, if there is still liquid left in the pan, uncover, turn up the heat, and boil the liquid away, scraping loose any cooking residues from the bottom of the pan. On the other hand, if the artichokes are still tough and there is not sufficient liquid to continue cooking, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and cover the pan again. Continue checking every 8 to 10 minutes until the artichokes are tender. Depending on their freshness, it may take as long as 30 minutes to cook them.
  7. When they are done, transfer the artichokes to a serving platter, pouring over them the little bit of juice left in the pan, if it is not too runny. If it is, reduce it over high heat. Serve the artichokes when lukewarm.