Stuffed with toasted hazelnuts, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, these artichokes are a delectable first course. Serve with a bold Smoked Paprika Aioli for dipping the tender artichoke leaves.Photo credit: Joanne Bruno from Eats Well with Others.
For the Hazelnut Stuffed Artichokes, remove the tough outer leaves of the artichoke. Trim 1 inch off the top. Cut off the stem so bottom of artichoke is flat. Rub cut ends with lemon half to prevent browning.
Fill large saucepan with 1 inch of water. Place steamer basket in pan. Add lemon halves. Place artichokes, bottom end up, in basket. Cover. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 30 to 45 minutes or until the outer leaves of the artichoke can be pulled off easily and the artichoke bottom is tender when pierced with a knife. (Cooking time may vary depending on the size of the artichoke.)
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325°F. Place hazelnuts in single layer on baking sheet. Bake 8 to 9 minutes or until lightly toasted. Place hazelnuts in food processor; cover. Process until coarsely chopped. Transfer hazelnuts to medium bowl. Add bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, melted butter and 2 tablespoons of the oil; mix well.
For the Smoked Paprika Aioli, mix all ingredients in small bowl until well blended. Set aside.
Increase oven temperature to 375°F. Carefully remove artichokes from steamer basket. Spread the leaves of the artichoke apart. Stuff artichokes with hazelnut filling. Be sure to stuff in between the leaves as well as the center. Brush artichokes with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Place artichokes on foil-lined baking pan.
Bake 12 minutes or until stuffing is golden brown. Cut each artichoke into quarters. Serve with Smoked Paprika Aioli for dipping.
Test Kitchen Tip: If desired, the inner purple-tipped leaves and fuzzy choke may be removed after steaming. Use a teaspoon to scrape out the choke.