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Sunday
Apr072013

California Grilled Artichokes

 

We had artichokes in Italy, but they did not bear any resemblance to the stuffed and steamed versions I grew up with in the Northeast.  In fact, they were quite inedible:

Baby artichokes, sliced in half and just steamed.  Dangerous chokes included.  Not my cup of tea. 

While I love the stuffed artichoke recipe my mother made us as kids, I find this recipe faster, a little lighter on the waistline, and yet distinctively California Italian.

Ingredients:

2 extra large (Lion Head if possible), fresh artichokes
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
½ lemon
Whole peeled garlic clove

Dipping Sauce:

1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs Worcester sauce
Black Pepper

  • Up to one day in advance: 
  • Fill a large stock pot or Dutch oven, with the whole artichokes, enough water to half submerge them, 2 tablespoons olive oil, the whole garlic clove, and the ½ lemon.
  • Over medium heat, let the artichokes simmer in the water for about 15-20 minutes, then turn them to submerge the other side, for another 15-20 minutes.  They are done when you can easily pull off one of the outer leaves. 
  • Alternatively, you can use a steamer to accomplish the same thing. 
  • Remove the artichokes from the steam/water bath, allow them to cool, and then either refrigerate or prepare for grilling. 
  • In the meantime, make the sauce, by whisking all of the dipping sauce ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Prepare the artichokes for grilling by slicing them in half lengthwise, using a serrated knife.  Using a paring knife, cut the choke away from the heart, running the tip through the base of the choke fibers, just where they meet the heart.  Pull the choke fibers out and discard.  I sometimes use a teaspoon to get all of the choke out.
  • Place the artichokes in a pan and brush them with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
  • Heat your grill to medium high to high.  It’s best to use a grill plate, as it will give more surface and more char to the food placed on it.  Place the artichokes flat side down on the grill plate, and grill until the surface is slightly charred, and the artichokes are heated through.
  • Place two halves of the artichokes in an individual bowl, along with a small, individual bowl of the dipping sauce for serving. 
  • Don’t forget an empty bowl for the discarded leaves.

 

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