Grilled artichokes - I found the secret
I love grilled artichokes, but for a long time I had trouble getting them consistently right. Sometimes they would be under done and tough, and sometimes they would be over done, mushy and fall apart on the grill. I had almost given up making them at home when I found this recipe in Andrew Weil's True Food Cookbook.
The problem was, I was boiling the artichokes before I grilled them. The trick is to steam the artichokes, not boil them, until they are almost, but not quite done. Steaming takes between 25 and 35 minutes, depending on the size of your artichokes.
A little balsamic vinegar and olive oil
You can put a little olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper on the artichokes and send them directly to the grill. Or you can do what they do at True Foods and marinate them overnight in a 1:1 solution of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Very, very yummy. I have played around with the marinade and added a bunch of additional ingredients, but have to say, keep this one simple and just use olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a good sprinkling of salt and pepper. You will not be disappointed.
- See my artichoke post to learn how to trim artichokes and to learn why they are so good for you.
- Do not use aluminum pans as they will discolor the artichokes.
- Steam the artichokes using a pot fitted with a vegetable steam basket or a steamer pot.
- If you don't have 24 hours to marinate the artichokes, even 30 minutes will transform them.
- These artichokes are delicious by themselves. No need for lemon butter or mayo.
- Make extra artichokes and eat them the next day for lunch.
- Serve hot or room temperature.
This recipe comes from True Food Cookbook by Andrew Weil.
- 4 large artichokes, trimmed
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fill your pot with 2" of water. Place steamer basket inside pot and put the artichokes on top of the basket. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce temperature to medium. Steam for 25 to 35 minutes, until you can pull a leaf away from the artichoke heart with a gentle tug. To double check, pull the leaf between your teeth. You are looking for an "al dente" leaf, that is almost, but not quite fully cooked.
- Remove the artichokes and let them cool. Using a very sharp knife, turn your artichoke upside down, and slice the artichoke in half. Use a spoon to scrape all the artichoke fur out, and remove the innermost translucent leaves.
- Put the olive oil, balsamic and salt and pepper in a gallon-size plastic bag. Shake to combine. Add the artichoke halves, seal and mush around so the marinade coats the artichokes and gets between the leaves. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight, or for as long as you have time. Even half an hour helps.
- Grill the artichoke hearts on a medium hot grill, cut side down for 5 or 6 minutes. Flip over and grill another 3-4 minutes.