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Baked, stuffed artichokes
Artichokes are at the peak of freshness in the spring, and their rich centers can be used as a main dish when paired with heavier ingredients like cheese or meat.
Gather your ingredients and set them aside. Leave the Neufchatel on the counter while you clean and prepare the artichokes. This will soften the cheese, making it easier to stir into the mixture.
Rinse and clean four large artichokes. Using kitchen shears, trim the sharp tops off so the edges of the leaves have a straight shape. Trim a bit of the stem off so the artichokes can stand up in a baking dish.
Using a grater, zest a tablespoon of lemon and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large pot, boil water, olive oil and salt. This will help flavor the artichokes. Squeeze the rest of the lemon, and add the juice to the water (optional). Boil for 20—25 minutes, depending on the artichoke’s size.
In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of ricotta, 1 cup of mozzarella and 1 cup of Neufchatel cheese. Grate in 1-2 cloves of garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Add the lemon zest to the mixture and stir until it’s evenly blended.
Drain the artichokes and let them cool. After the artichokes have cooled, spoon generous amounts of the mixture into the centers of the artichokes.
You will want to fill them all the way until the mixture is completely gone. Finally, place it in an 8-by-8-inch baking dish and bake for 15—20 minutes until the mixture is melted and slightly brown on top. Serve and enjoy!
4 artichokes, cleaned, trimmed
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup Neufchatel cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 whole lemon for zest and juice
1-2 cloves garlic
1 pinch salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1. Wash and cut tops off artichokes
2. Zest 1 tablespoon of lemon, set aside
3. Fill a large pot of water, add lemon, olive oil, artichokes and salt to taste
4. Boil, uncovered for 20-25 minutes
5. For filling, combine the ricotta, mozzarella and Neufchatel cheese
6. Add salt and pepper to taste, grate in 1-2 cloves of garlic and mix
7. Drain artichokes and let cool
8. Spoon the mixture inside the artichokes
9. Place in 8×8 baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees
10. Serve, eat and enjoy