1 loaf Italian bread
4 medium to large artichokes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup olives, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Prepare a steamer. Take out the insides of the vegan bread and separate from the crust. Cube the insides and set aside. With a sharp knife, cut about 1" off the top of the artichokes. Cut off the stem, as close to the base of the artichokes. Remove some of the tough, outter leaves of the artichokes, especially near the base.
2. With a pair of scissors, cut off the pointed parts of the outside leaves of the artichokes and open the leaves up slightly to reveal the center of the artichoke. This will aid in the stuffing process. Place the artichokes upside down in a steamer and steam for 20 minutes or cover them with water in a sauce pan and boil.
3. While the artichokes are cooking, place 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet and saute the garlic. Add the olives and the vegan bread, incorporating all ingredients in the skillet. Add more olive oil to moisten and to form a stuffing mix. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Remove the artichokes and drain any water that may be trapped inside. With a grapefruit spoon or a teaspoon, remove the thistle (the choke), and any sharp spiny leaves from the inside-middle of the artichokes, being careful not to distrub the artichoke heart and bottom.
5. Once the choke is removed, fill each with the stuffing mixture. Place all 4 artichokes in a baking dish with 1/2 cup water. Drizzle artichokes with any remaining olive oil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let stand for about 5 minutes.