If you’re not familiar with whole artichokes, at first glance they look like a daunting, thorny and green mess. How are you supposed to eat this leafy bulb thing, anyway? We’re accustomed to artichoke hearts. They’re easily recognizable in the canned food aisle floating in a jar with oil and herbs. We’re used to enjoying them in many of our favorite dips, in a plethora of Mediterranean dishes, or as a way to jazz up a salad among a few things. With the warmth of impending summer, it was time to pop them on the grill.
A fresh artichoke gets a bad rap mainly because most folks aren’t sure how best to enjoy them. They can be steamed, boiled, even deep-fried—or marinated and grilled. Once cooked, pull off the pedals one at a time, then dip the fleshy, white end in a sauce, butter or olive oil. You don’t chew the whole petal, but instead pull it through your teeth to remove all the soft “meat”, discarding the fibrous leaf that is left. Keep doing this until all that remains is the heart. Scrape off the fuzzy, inedible top and enjoy all your hard work getting to the best part.
We hope this helped to demystify the fresh artichoke. If you’ve never had one in this manner, we strongly encourage throwing one in your cart next time you venture to the grocery store or farmers market. They are plentiful this time of year and deserve your love just as much as any other summer produce. Don’t be intimidated—you’ll be happy you explored something new.
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
Spicy Mayo Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
Salt to taste
1. In a large pot of water, add salt, garlic, lemon juice and slices, and a sprinkle of olive oil. Bring pot to a boil. While the pot heats up, use scissors to cut off the tips of each petal on the artichoke (This is done for a neater presentation and to make the removal of the leaves much easier as you eat.) Cut the artichokes into halves, hollow out the center by removing the purple, fuzzy middle, and immediately place in the lemon water to prevent them from browning. Cook for 15 minutes or until soft.
2. Remove artichokes from water and place in a shallow baking dish or in a large mixing bowl. Evenly coat with the marinate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to grill—at least one hour.
3. On a heated grill, cook artichokes on each side until heated and they being to blacken, about 8 minutes.
4. As the artichoke grills, mix all ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and refrigerate until needed. Serve with the artichokes.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.