I went to the market yesterday and they had some great looking artichokes. So I picked up a couple and figured that I would grill them. Plus it would give me the opportunity to break down an artichoke and document it for the website. Cleaning artichokes is easy but I can totally see why a person would be afraid to pick them up from the store.
I am going to prepare artichokes, grill them and make a cayenne and roasted garlic aioli for a dipping sauce.
- 4 artichokes
- 1 lemon
- 3 tbs olive oil
- salt and pepper
Spicy Roasted Garlic Aioli
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper
The first step is to peel back the outer leaves of the artichoke. Peel back all of the dark outer leaves until you see the pale green/yellow leaves.
Next trim the stem to about an inch and then remove the pale green/yellow leaves with a sharp knife. As you can see from the picture above, there is a natural indentation in the leaves. Cut the leaves off about 1/4 inch below the natural indentation.
The remaining part is the heart along with the fuzzy choke. Using a melon baller or a spoon, scrape the choke out from the center of the artichoke heart.
Next using a vegetable peeler, peel the outer layers of the stem and leaves. You want to expose the inner softer portions. I find that you need to peel off all of the dark green parts of the artichoke. They are hard and not so tasty.
Finally cut the artichoke in half lengthwise through the stem.
Place the artichokes in ice water with the juice from the lemon in it. The lemon will help prevent the artichoke from turning brown.
Next bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Remove the artichokes from the ice water and place directly into the boiling salted water. Cook for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain the artichokes and place in a bowl. Coat evenly with the 3 tbs of olive oil and the salt and pepper.
Next grill the artichokes over medium heat for 5-6 minutes.
Flipping every couple of minutes.
Remove the artichoke hearts from the heat and serve. I find that it is best to halve each of the hearts to make them bite size. It is best to do it after grilling so that the halves are big enough to not fall through the grates while cooking.
For the Aioli I place the cloves of garlic in a piece of aluminum foil with a couple of teaspoons of olive oil. I then fold of the foil into a pouch and place it directly on grill grates. Let it cook for 15-20 minutes or until the garlic is brown. While the garlic was cooking I picked a ripe cayenne pepper from my urban garden.
Place the garlic, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper into a food processor and chop up the ingredients. Next add the mayonnaise and red wine vinegar. Pulse a couple of times to form the aioli. Spoon into serving bowls. The Artichokes are amazing with the aioli. It is a great combination.
The next time you go to the supermarket, grab a few artichokes. Once you know how to prepare them, you will use them in everything.