Slice the stem portion of the artichoke off at the bottom so that it will stand vertically. Cut off the top inch of the artichoke and use scissors to trim the points off the leaves.
In a large pot with heavy lid, add the artichoke. Add enough water to cover the artichoke and pour in the salt. Slice 1 lemon into halves and squeeze into the pot to keep the artichoke from discoloring. Turn the burner on high heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook until tender but not falling apart, about 20 minutes. Check for doneness (the leaves should effortlessly pull out and a knife should easily pierce the bottom). Remove from the hot water and quickly submerge into ice-cold water for 5 minutes as an added means to preserve color. Remove and drain.
In a large mixing bowl, add the breadcrumbs. Mix in all the ingredients except the olive oil and crabmeat. Cut the remaining lemon in half and squeeze half the lemon into the mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle olive oil while stirring to achieve a wet consistency, about ½ cup. Add the crabmeat and mix together, but try to leave the crab in lumps taking care not to break it down.
Starting from the bottom, pack the mixture into each leaf until every leaf is stuffed. Any remaining mixture should fill the center cavity area. Drizzle the entire stuffed artichoke with the remaining olive oil, squeeze the remaining half of lemon, and bake in a 400ºF oven for 15 minutes or until browned on top. Let sit for 1 hour minimum before serving.
My recipe is for one artichoke, but I suggest making several because they will go fast and are just as good – or maybe even better – days later. In addition to the fresh Louisiana crab, two keys to this appetizer are sourcing quality, exceptionally large artichokes and using lots of herbaceous extra virgin olive oil. Also, be sure to let the stuffed artichoke sit for a while, if not overnight, before serving to distribute the flavors within the leaves.
Recipe by Acadiana Table at /2013/04/15/crabmeat-stuffed-artichoke/