- 1 lemon, halved
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Six 1/2-inch-thick slices Italian bread
- Small basil leaves, for garnish (optional)
- 6 medium artichokes
- Squeeze 1 lemon half into a medium bowl of cold water. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, snap off the outer leaves. Using a sharp knife, cut off the top half of the leaves and trim the base and stem. Using a a melon baller or a spoon, scoop out the furry choke. Rub the artichoke bottom all over with the other lemon half and add it to the lemon water. Repeat with the remaining artichokes.
- Drain the artichokes and pat dry, then coarsely chop them. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the artichokes, cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Toast the bread. Top the toast with the artichokes, garnish with basil and serve.
Make Ahead The artichokes can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat and season before serving.