My love obsession with grilled artichokes began when I lived in California and would often eat at Bandera, a classic American fare restaurant. They would serve tender in season artichokes, blanched and then marinated and grilled, with a thick garlicky remoulade for dipping.
After moving back east, I decided to try and recreate this delicious dish. Luckily I was able to find an inspiration recipe, from a sister restaurant to Bandera that I follow when preparing the artichokes. I typically serve it as an appetizer, but on nights where an appetizer won’t suit, my kids enjoy eating it as a fun side dish.
The first step is to select fresh in season artichokes. They are in peak season from March-May, but are usually available year round, from farms in California where they are harvested year round. I first look at the base of the artichoke and select the ones that don’t have a brown base stump. Next look at the leaves. You want to select artichokes that are firm and heavy with a dark green color and tightly packed leaves.
When prepping the artichokes, you need to remove the fuzzy choke inside of the artichoke. It is inedible and must be cleaned out prior to cooking. To do this, you will want to trim and split the artichoke in half. This makes it much easier to remove the choke. First, pull off the very hard and dark outer leaves from the bulb. Next, carefully cut the top spikes of the artichoke off with a very sharp knife, and trim the base stump close to the body of the bulb. Carefully cut the artichoke in half lengthwise. Either using a spoon or melon baller, completely scrape out the fuzzy area above the heart, which is the meaty area close to the base of the artichoke. Once the artichoke is cut and the choke is removed, it will begin to quickly brown. To counter this, immediately squeeze from lemon juice on the cut side and then soak the artichokes in lemon water as soon as possible.
The cut artichokes will need to be boiled for approximately 15-30 minutes depending on the size before they are grilled, giving you plenty of time to make the remoulade.
I hope you enjoy this tasty appetizer! Happy eating
- 2 large artichokes
- 1 lemon, quartered
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 2 c. mayonnaise
- 3 tbsp green sweet relish
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp capers
- 1 tbsp anchovy paste (optional)
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- ARTICHOKES: Trim the tops and ends of leaves from the artichokes, cut in half lengthwise and remove the fuzzy choke. Squeeze a bit of lemon on immediately to prevent browning. If preparing artichokes ahead of time, place them in a bowl of lemon water until ready to boil. If unsure how to properly prep an artichoke, look online for an easy demonstration.
- 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 15-30 minutes. Drain well.
- Squeeze the remaining lemon wedges into a medium bowl. Stir in the olive oil and garlic, and season with salt and pepper.
- Brush the artichokes with a coating of the garlic dip, and place them on the preheated grill.
- Grill the artichokes for 5 to 10 minutes, basting with dip and turning frequently, until the tips are a little charred. Serve immediately with remoulade.
- REMOULADE: In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well.
- Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for several hours prior to serving.
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