1 lemon, halved
12 globe artichokes
Scant 1 cup finely chopped Serrano ham or proscuitto
2 ˝ tablespoons bread crumbs
1 tablespoon white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic (optional), finely chopped
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
Squeeze the juice from one lemon half and add the juice to a large bowl of water. Break off the artichoke stalks and remove the coarse outer leaves. Cut off the tips of the remaining leaves. Open out the centers of the artichokes and remove the chokes. Rub the artichokes with the remaining lemon half and place in the acidulated water.
Combine the ham, 1 ˝ tablespoons of the bread crumbs, the wine, parsley and garlic, if using, in a bowl. Drain the artichokes and fill with the ham mixture.
Put the artichokes filling uppermost into a pan just large enough to hold them in a single layer. Pour in water to cover. Crumble the bouillon cube and dissolve it in a little water, then add it to the pan. Sprinkle the remaining bread crumbs and the oil over the artichokes. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt if necessary (bearing in mind that the ham and bouillon cube are both salty).
Re-cover the pan and cook for 30 minutes more, until the liquid has reduced to a sauce and the artichokes are tender. Serve the artichokes in a dish with a little sauce in the base.
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