Artichoke Bottoms with Lemon-Crisp Crumbs
* 2 prepared artichoke bottoms (recipe below)
* Olive oil, divided
* 1 teaspoon Vin Gris
* ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* Lemon-crumb stuffing (below)
* 4 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
* 4 slender lemon wedges
Brush bottoms with olive oil to cloak. Sprinkle with Vin Gris and lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon half of the stuffing into center of each bottom; gently press to hold in place.
Arrange bottoms in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 375°F oven until heated through and crumbs are rich golden, about 10 minutes. Remove to serving plates. Sprinkle with parsley. Garnish with lemon wedges to add drops of juice to taste.
Makes 2 servings.
Prepare artichoke bottoms:
* Remove leaves, fuzzy choke, stem and tough dark green part of bottom from 2 very large artichokes; trim bottoms smoothly.
* Cook bottoms, covered, in boiling salted acidulated water (juice from a slender wedge of lemon squeezed into water and remaining part of wedge dropped in) just to cover with a split clove of garlic and about a teaspoon of olive oil until tender.
* Drain, plunge into ice water for a few moments to stop cooking; drain well and dry.
Crisp lemon crumb stuffing:
* In a small heavy frying pan over medium heat, cook and turn ½ cup fine soft fresh crumbs of French- or Italian-style white bread in a generous 1 Tablespoon olive oil until crisp and golden.
* Remove from heat, add ¼ teaspoon mashed anchovies (drained filets packed in oil), 1½ teaspoons grated fresh lemon peel, a generous ¼ teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves, about 1/8 teaspoon salt, a generous grinding of black pepper and 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley. Mix well.