Sure, I always loved artichoke dip and anything made with the stuff that came out of a can, but whole artichokes eaten leaf by leaf seemed too much work for such little (and often bland tasting) meat. However, over the years and over shared appetizers at restaurants with girlfriends, I learned to appreciate this gem, even if only it was cooked and prepared by someone else.
I had always heard that cooking artichokes was a tedious process including trimming each leaf. Too much work (and a wee bit intimidating, I thought) to mess with for just a vegetable and I was resigned to just enjoying when eating out.
That is, until I had a really incredible batch of herb grilled artichokes at a recent outing. That experience, coupled with a great sale at my local grocers gave me the push I needed to give it a try.
I found this great recipe at AllRecipes.com and the rave reviews piqued my interest. After reading through the instructions, it seemed simple enough and sure enough, the reviewers were right on; these were delicious and I was so glad I took the leap and gave the good ol’ whole artichoke a chance.
Now although simple, this recipe is a two-part process and thus requires a little bit of planning. Though the leaves don’t need to be individually trimmed, the choke (or fuzzy inside part of the veg) needs to be cut out, then the artichoke halves boiled in a seasoned bath then grilled. But believe me, it’s worth any minimal amount of trouble.
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 lemon wedges
- 4 artichokes
- Fill a stockpot to half full with water. Stir Italian seasoning, basil, thyme, liquid smoke, olive oil, salt, and white wine into water. Squeeze the lemon wedges over the mixture and drop the wedge into the pot. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat. Cut artichokes in half and remove fuzzy choke and internal purple leaves.
- Add the artichoke halves to water and continue to boil 30-45 minutes (or until the flesh on the outer leaves is tender). Remove artichokes from water and drain. You can refrigerate until ready to grill or move right to the grilling step.
- Lightly coat the artichoke halves with cooking spray. Cook artichoke halves on grill until edges are slightly charred, 5-10 minutes.
- Enjoy on own or with edges dipped in a garlic butter (1 tiny clove of garlic lightly cooked in 2 tbsp. of butter) or garlic aioli (I like to use this recipe)
Fear not the humble artichoke!