Artichokes are stupid vegetables.
Don’t get me wrong. I love them. But man, are they ever a pain in the ass. You go through all this work to prepare them for tasty goodness. And then you have to painstakingly peel off each petal and scrape the soft good bits off with your teeth. That’s how you eat them. Ugh. What a waste of time.
Have I discouraged you from making these? I sure hope not.
Despite all my whining and misgivings about fresh artichokes, I do think you’ll like this recipe. Just save it for a weekend grillfest rather than a Monday night when you’re exhausted, cranky, and have loads of homework, housework, and blogwork to catch up on. Not sure who would be foolish enough to make these on a Monday night such as that. Probably whoever is that foolish made these as a part of ‘cooking therapy’. Perhaps. Maybe.
Enough with the negativity, let me talk a bit about fresh artichokes. They’re a unique vegetable. They’ve almost got prickly outer leaves that can be a nuisance. There’s this weird hairy bit at the very center of the choke. But even so I still think the artichoke is one of the more beautiful-looking vegetables. I would wager a guess it’s a very photogenic vegetable and many a painting has been painted of their beauty.
Even I, with my unsteady hand and lack of camera prowess, was able to snap quite a shot of my artichokes in action.
- 2 large artichokes
- 1 lemon, quartered
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons ginger ale
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon basil
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Fill a large bowl with cold water. Squeeze the juice from one lemon wedge into the water. Trim the tops from the artichokes, then cut in half lengthwise, and place halves into the bowl of lemon water to prevent them from turning brown.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat.
- Add artichokes to boiling water, and cook for about 15 minutes. Drain. Squeeze the remaining lemon wedges into a medium bowl. Stir in the first amount (3/4 cup) olive oil and 4 cloves of garlic, and season with first amounts of salt and pepper. This is your marinade.
- Brush the artichokes with a coating of the garlic marinade, and place them on the preheated grill. Grill the artichokes for 5 to 10 minutes, basting with marinade and turning frequently, until the tips are a little charred.
- Let cool slightly to dig out the hairy part by the choke and discard.
- Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.
- To prepare the dipping sauce combine the second amount (1/3 cup) olive oil with 1 clove garlic, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, ginger ale, basil, oregano, sea salt and pepper.
I poured the dipping sauce right into the hollowed out area near the choke. It worked rather well.
Speaking of dipping sauce, I used ginger ale because it was what I had. If you had apple juice, apple cider, lemon-lime soda or anything else it would work too.
Now let me highlight one of my favorite parts of cooking fresh artichokes. It takes a while to consume them. It actually forced us to have a sit-down dinner on a weeknight, where we took our time eating petal by petal dipped in the most delightfully zippy sauce. It’s often a complaint of mine that I’ll slave over a beautiful meal and within minutes it’s eaten and people are pushing away from the table. With artichokes, my friends, this is not a problem.
If you want to impress people with your culinary talents and ever-expanding repertoire of vegetable offerings then I suggest this dish. It really is rather impressive.
It would probably be slightly more impressive if I hadn’t neglected them on the grill those last few minutes. These are a tad more charbroiled than I would have liked. But the flavor was still fabulous.
Go eat your ridiculous vegetables people! And enjoy them!