Heat a frying pan over low heat. Add the garlic and bread crumbs and cook, tossing continually until the bread crumbs are lightly golden. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
To prepare the artichokes: Juice half of the lemon and pour into a large bowl of water. Wash and drain the artichokes. Use disposable gloves when handling the artichokes. Carefully cut one artichoke close to the base so it can stand up on its own. Use the remaining half lemon to rub over the cut edge and prevent discolouration. Cut 2-3 cm off the top of the artichoke and again rub with the half lemon. Pull or cut off and discard the lower and darker, rough artichoke leaves, working your way around the artichoke until you only have light green leaves. Use a teaspoon to scoop out and discard the fuzzy choke. Place the artichoke in the bowl of water with lemon juice. Repeat with remaining artichokes.
Combine the toasted breadcrumbs, Parmigiano Reggiano, parsley, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Separate the artichoke leaves and fill the leaves with the breadcrumb mixture. Transfer to a stockpot (the artichokes should fit tightly in the pot). Drizzle olive oil over the artichokes, add water to the base of the pan. Note: the artichokes should be covered in liquid half way – you may need to adjust the amount of water added to the stockpot.
Cook over low heat, covered for 40 minutes or until the artichokes are tender.
Meanwhile preheat the grill setting of the oven to 180°C (350° Fahrenheit/Gas 4). Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
Transfer the artichokes to the baking tray to brown in the oven for 10 minutes or until lightly golden on top – buon appetito.
8 artichokes |400g dried breadcrumbs|2 cloves garlic, crushed|1 lemon, cut in half|100g Parmigiano Reggiano|1 bunch parsley, finely chopped|50g extra virgin olive oil|750ml water approx. – refer to note in step 3|Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper