Grilled Artichokes

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I love artichokes, but was always a little intimidated by them.  I wasn’t sure if I was cleaning them correctly and the only way I knew to prepare them was the traditional boiling method – not very exciting and messy to eat.  I was thrilled when I found this article recently by Dorie Greenspan in the Wall Street Journal on The Art of the Artichoke.

She not only explains in detail how to properly clean the choke, she also provides several terrific recipes.  I was inspired to grill artichokes for family dinner one Sunday night.  They were a big hit with my sis and brother-in-law – so tender and juicy that we didn’t need any aioli or dip.  We’ll definitely be making them again.

This week I made the baby artichokes marinated in olive oil and they were another great surprise – easy to prepare and packed with flavor.  These will work well in salads or pasta.  They also made a terrific spread for our Easter dinner appetizers when I used the suggested variation of putting them in the food processor.

I’m so happy that I’ve conquered my fear of the artichoke and am looking forward to making the Grilled Fish with Artichoke Caponata recipe next.

What food(s) are you intimated by?  Maybe we can conquer that fear together.

 Grilled Artichokes

serves 3, 1 artichoke per person

3 artichokes
olive oil
1 lemon, cut in 1/2

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.  Heat up the grill.

Clean the artichoke by pulling the tough outer leaves off the artichoke, usually a couple of rows. If the artichoke is very fresh you may not need to this.

Using a very sharp knife, cut off  about the top 1/3 of the artichoke – so that you get most of the pointy tips.  You can trim any remaining points with scissors.

Cut the artichokes in 1/2 and trim out the hairy part of the choke.  I ran the blade of a pairing knife in the fleshy part just under the hair then used a spoon to scoop out the hairy part.

If the artichokes are large, you might cut them in 1/2 again so that they grill more uniformly and are easy for your guests to handle.

Toss the cleaned chokes into the boiling water and cook for about 10 minutes until the inside of the artichoke is just tender to the touch of a fork.

Drain the artichokes and place on a baking sheet.  Brush olive oil on both sides of the artichoke then squeeze the lemon over the inside part of the choke.

Place the artichokes on the grill, outer leaf side down first.  Cook about 5 minutes to allow the leaves to get a nice char then flip the artichokes.  Cook another 5 minutes to char the inside of the choke.  You should be able to easily pierce the inside of the choke with a fork.

You can serve with an aioli or squeeze a little more lemon over the top after grilling.

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