Thursday, May 30, 2013

Grilled Artichokes

Over the holiday weekend we made our dinner on the grill every night.  We had some good food!   Obviously you can grill proteins, we had chicken, fish and steak but you can also cook pretty much everything else on there as well.  My favorite from the weekend, a grilled artichoke!  If you like artichokes and grilled foods you are going to love this one.  I got the idea from something I had at a restaurant; it was on the appetizer menu.  I ate so much of it I didn’t want the entrée that I had ordered.  That was when I decided that I needed to do it at home, and if it worked out well, do it often.  I’m happy to report it worked out very well.

We also grilled dessert one night, pears that we sliced in half then cooked on the grill for a bit making them soft.  For the topping I cooked down some balsamic vinegar until it was a syrup consistency, I topped the pears with a little bit of ricotta and a drizzle of that balsamic syrup…heavenly!  That one is a keeper too.  I love summer; grilling out opens up a whole different world of flavors that you can’t get when cooking on your stove or in the oven.  You know what else is great about it?  Most of what you can make on the grill is naturally gluten free, that’s a good thing!

Grilled Artichoke with Garlicky Dipping Sauce
(Plan on ½ of an artichoke per person, this recipe is for 2 people)

1 large artichoke (make sure it looks healthy and the leaves are somewhat tight)
1 lemon
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 C mayonnaise
4-5 cloves garlic, grated
Black pepper

1.      Fill a large pot with water, cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the water, drop half of the lemon in as well, bring to a boil
2.      Prep the artichoke by rinsing thoroughly, cut off the stem and pull a few of the leaves near the stem off (they are usually tough)
3.      Cut off the top 1 inch and trimming the tips of remaining leaves (they can poke you)
4.      Put the artichoke into the boiling water, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes (the leaves near the center should pull out easily)
5.      While the artichoke is cooking combine the mayo, garlic and pepper in a small bowl, mix well and refrigerate
6.      Pull the artichoke out of the water and drain upside down, letting it cool a bit
7.      Cut the artichoke in half and remove the choke from the center
8.      Drizzle oil over the artichoke and sprinkle with salt and pepper then grill for a few minutes on each side
9.      Serve immediately with the dipping sauce

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