Sunday, April 6, 2014

Grilled Artichokes


Love, love, love. But, girl. I NEVER make them.

For one thing my sheltered husband thought he didn't like them. That is until I bestowed upon him this loveliness:

Super big yum-yums.

Back in the day, my Ma and Aunt Lorraine would rock out some delish artichokes all stuffed with breadcrumb buttery deliciousness. For reals, they were a meal unto themselves and most likely super duper fattening.

These are wonderful if you're kickin' it vegetarian style. They also work great as an appie.

I had to give The Husband a tutorial on how to eat an artichoke. But, in the end it all worked out. He even asked for seconds. And I got a laugh.

Artichokes are a bit high-maintenance I suppose. You should trim the stem and discard the dodgy outer leaves. Cut them in half. Submerge in a pot of cold lemony water. Boil on the stove for a good 20 minutes. Cool. Remove the hairy nastiness from inside - unless you want to gag up a lung. Brush with marinade; cook; make a dipping sauce. Eat!

Good things come to those with patience, my friends. Plus word on the street - from all those health-nuts on the Internets - is that artichokes are chockful of health benefits: They have mad antioxidants, help your tummy feel good, lower cholesterol, blah, blah, blah.


I'm chanting as I write this: I will be more healthy; I will be more healthy; I will have another glass of wine.

Grilled Artichokes
Makes 6 appetizer servings

The prep work:

Cut three artichokes in half. Place in a large bowl of cold water with the juice of one lemon. This process prevents browning.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil on your stove. Once the water is boiling, place the artichoke halves into the pot. Boil for 20 minutes.

Remove to a colander. Run under cold water for a minute. Place artichoke halves on a baking sheet to cool.

When artichokes are cool enough to handle, remove the fuzzy choke with a spoon super duper carefully. Be sure to keep the heart intact. You can eat that goodness!

3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl.

Brush over prepared artichokes.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Once nice and hot, place six artichokes cut-side down on the grill pan for about 12 to 15  minutes. Halfway through, rotate the pan.

Serve with spicy aioli. Recipe is below.

Spicy Aioli

1/2 cup mayo
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 fat clove garlic, minced
Habanera pepper sauce to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use. Yes. It's really that easy.