Chris' Recipes

Bon Appetite!

Grilled Artichokes

Written By: Chris - Jun• 14•12

In California, we can find Artichokes on the menu’s all over as a side dish, or an appetizer.  In Minnesota, it’s not as common to see in a restaurant but we can find them while in season at the grocery store.  So the last time Bill and I were at Trader Joe’s, we spotted some “unusually shaped” artichokes… They were round and not oval as we typically have seen.  I assumed that they can’t be that much different and brought them home!

We had recently enjoyed dinner with friends at a favorite stop in Rutherford, CA and shared the Grilled Jumbo Artichoke as a starter!  We should always order extra, because it’s just not enough!  I was inspired to try to duplicate the terrific great grilled ones we had recently eaten as we had always grown up with them boiled or steamed with a side of butter!

I did some home work on the odd-shaped veggie and learned a lot more than I expected!  The variety I picked up are called “Carciofi Romaneschi – Large, round artichokes”

Artichokes, are the immature flowers of a member of the thistle family.  They apparently are one of the nicest things about winter in Central Italy; they appear in December and accompany them through the beginning of spring, in April. They also come in a tremendous variety of shapes and colors, from tiny delicate ones well suited for being eaten raw, to purplish green medium-sized Morellino artichokes, to Carciofi Romaneschi, the large round artichokes, which are what I bought and have since learned are ideally suited for stuffing.  Who knew? I grilled them and they were great! 

No matter which variety you select, you have to do so with care because a fuzzy choke is a tremendous disappointment.  A good artichoke will feel firm and solid when you pick it up. It shouldn’t “give” if you squeeze it gently, nor should it feel light. If it does, it probably has air (and fuzz) in its heart.  Once you have selected your artichokes and gotten them home, stand them in a vase with water until you’re ready to use them.  They tend to toughen with time.

Ingredients:
2 large artichokes
1 lemon
1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Garlic cloves
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Clean the artichokes by rinsing them well.  Typically I would remove the top third and trim the leave tops to remove the thorn, but these didn’t really have any and we don’t eat the outside of the leaf anyways… so save yourself the work!

Slice them in half lengthwise and scoop out the hairy choke with a spoon.  (I used a paring knife to cut just above the heart and easily remove the hair)

Bring the cleaned artichokes to a boil (lightly salted water – like you would for pasta) and add the juice squeezed of half of the lemon.  Cook to soften them, about seven to minutes.  They turn from bright green to pale.
Wisc together the olive oil, smashed garlic, lemon rind & juice from second half and salt and pepper to taste.
Remove artichokes from boiling water and shake off the access water.  Brush each side liberally with olive oil dressing.  Be sure to brush and season the inside of the artichoke as well.
When the grill is hot, place the prepared artichokes on the grill over medium heat.  (they will flare up – but I like this for the browning and grill marks on the artichoke!) I also prepared a steak and shrimp skewers for dinner that night.  Season the shrimp and steak with salt and pepper and Use the same olive oil dressing to dress the shrimp.
 
Start to grill the steak along with the artichokes first, so that once is cooked to your liking to can set it aside to allow it time to rest while you continue to cook the artichokes (turning for roughly 7 to 10 minutes) and the shrimp.

Set steak aside to rest (sip on your wine and enjoy the view of the back yard…).  Once the artichokes are about half way through the cooking time, add the shrimp skewers to the grill.  They cook quickly over high heat and only need to be turned once.  (find entire recipe for the shrimp in the blog)

Remove from the grill and either serve them as is, or with a variety of condiments including mayonnaise, aioli, or melted butter.

We enjoyed this meal with a side salad and a nice Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon!
Cheers!
~Chris

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