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Topic: Grilled Artichokes  (Read 1216 times)
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« on: October 05, 2010 08:40:14 AM »

I'd never cooked artichokes prior to cooking these.  I'd added hearts to salads, but other than that, I'd never done much with them.  Over the weekend I found myself walking around the produce section at my local grocery store, letting what they had decide my side dish, and saw the artichokes and decided to give them a try.  So I bought two and went home to do some research on how to grill them. 

Well, then I found out why I had never done anything with them before.  There's so much prep involved.  I had to clip the tops of the leaves, lop the top of the whole thing off, steam for 15 minutes, slice in half, remove the choke, before they ever went on the grill.  Seems like a lot of work, right?  Not really.  Outside of them steaming for 15 minutes, during which time I opened a beer, started the charcoal, drank some beer, etc, the prep time was less than 5 minutes. 

I never cooked with them because I thought they were too much work but really, they are no more work than say prepping a couple slabs of ribs in terms of time.  I'll definitely be doing artichokes again. 

This recipe is about as basic as it gets, and the perfect recipe to get over any fears of them being too high maintenance.

Here are the step by step instructions. Oh, and there are a couple of pictures in that link.  And here are the teaser pictures:

And for those of you link averse, here is the full write up, sans pics as linking all of them takes forever:

This was one of those recipes where I let what the grocery store had in stock determine my meal.  I had settled on a steak for dinner and was looking for something to go with it as a side or an appetizer.  This could be either.  Its probably better suited for an appetizer, but I ate it like a side.  How you serve it is up to you.  Also whats up to you is what sort of dipping sauce to serve with it.  I chose some pesto, but I will list some other options at the end of this post


Black pepper
Olive oil
Dipping sauce of your choice

Thats it.  Nothing to this dish, but its great.  While the ingredients are basic, the prep of the artichoke takes a little work. I started with two artichokes:

The first step is to snip off the pointy, and tough, ends of the the leaves:

Dont bother with snipping off the tips of the leaves on top:

Because you will lop off the top:

Now they should stand easily:

They need to be steamed before they can go on the grill or they will be really tough.  I filled my steamer pot with about an inch of water:

And added the steamer and the two artichokes.  I had to lop off about an inch of the base so they would stand up under the lid:

If you dont have the steamer piece, just stand them up in an inch of boiling water for 15 minutes:

Some people suggest squeezing half a lemon into the water to help keep the artichokes from browning.  These were going straight on the grill once they were prepped so I wasnt worried about it.

Once they have steamed for 15 minutes, place them on a cutting board to cool:

Then slice them vertically from the center of the stem:

Now for the last bit of prep.  Its time to remove the choke which is here:

A melon baller works wonders here:

And here we have the artichokes de-choked:

Some coarse salt, fresh black pepper and a little olive oil on both sides:

Now they are ready for the grill.  Some of you are thinking this is a lot of work, but honestly, it took less than 5 minutes of work to prep these.  And while they steamed I was able to start a fire, open a beer, watch some football, drink some beer, etc.

I have a hot fire here.  Looking like more than 500 degrees on the surface of the Grill Manufacturer That Shall Not Be Named:

The grill is set for two zone cooking with the coals on one side and none on the other, but that was more for the steak than it was for the artichokes.

Put the artichokes directly over the coals with the outer leaves down:

After six minutes I checked the backs of the artichokes.  Two werent browning as much and two were.  The ones browning the most looked like this:

I repositioned them so the ones that were browning were in the spots of the two that werent and vice versa.  After 10 minutes I flipped them over:

Another 4-5 minutes on the flesh side down and they were ready to serve.  Since I am addicted to pesto I used a pesto dipping sauce:

Flip the artichokes over and peal the inner layers out and dip in the sauce or eat plain:

The outer pieces are edible, but are only good when they are really hot.  Once they cool a little they get tough and chewy.  I pealed a few off when I flipped them over on the grill as I was starving, but once they were inside for a couple minutes they were really tough.

You dont have to do a dipping sauce.  You can eat the layers plain.  They taste really good on their own.  But if you want to get creative or offer your guests more than one kind of sauce, here are some other options:

Herb Mayonnaise
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp each of chopped parsley and chives
1/4 tsp tarragon

Curry Mayonnaise
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp butter

Sun-Dried Tomato
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tbsp minced sun-dried tomatoes
1 tbsp minced green onion
1 to 2 tsp chopped fresh basil or oregano
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Garlic and Herb Butter
1/2 cup melted butter
1 small shallot peeled and minced
1 clove garlic peeled and minced
2 to 3 tbsp chopped fresh herbs
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

If anyone has any other dipping sauces, let me know.  I'll add them to the post...

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« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2010 06:30:52 PM »

I steam artichokes all the time but have never tried grilling them! What a fantastic idea. I can't wait to send Mr. Lime out to the BBQ to try this Smiley.


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