When I want to blow my guests away with an appetizer without getting into an elaborate process, I whip out my old standby: grilled artichokes. They’re simple, don’t need a lot of prep, and people love them. There are a number of dips and sauces to serve with artichokes, but my favorite is homemade mayonnaise. Try it. I’ll be listening for your howls of delight.–Jay Bentley
LC Articulating Artichoke Awesomeness Note
Navigating a prickly, thorny, pointed artichoke doesn’t come naturally to most of us. Neither does articulating exactly how to select an awesome artichoke. It’s just sorta something that, as with many things in life, you come to know and learn and appreciate with experience. Still, allow us to attempt to articulate what to seek at the store. First, as you stand there, look for those whose leaves are tightly closed and form a semblance of snug, compact heads. The leaves themselves ought to be green; any tinges of purple are fine. Pick up the artichoke and fondle it. The veggie ought to feel heavy in your hand. Disregard any artichokes with brownish hues or whose leaves are splayed in all directions. How’s that for starters?
Grilled Artichokes Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 35 M
- 1 H, 40 M
- Serves 4 to 8
- 4 lemons, preferably organic
- 4 large whole artichokes, stem ends trimmed
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon pepper spice blend or freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
- Salt to taste
- Mayonnaise, preferably homemade, or another dip for serving
- 1. Fill a large stockpot about 3/4 full with water and salt it heavily. Bring to a boil. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice water.
- 2. When the water reaches a boil, cut 2 lemons in half, squeeze their juice into the water, and add the squeezed halves to the water as well. Place the whole artichokes in the water and boil for 20 to 25 minutes, until the chokes are tender. You can check this by sticking a knife into the stems; they should be very tender. When the artichokes are ready, plunge them in the ice water until cool enough to handle.
- 3. Cut the cooled artichokes in half vertically and, using a spoon or a paring knife, trim out the feathery, inedible choke along with any small leaves, leaving the outer leaves and the heart intact.
- 4. Using your hand, flatten the artichokes just a bit and place them, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over the cut side of the artichokes and sprinkle with the lemon pepper blend. Let the artichokes sit for up to 30 minutes to allow the oil and pepper to penetrate.
- 5. Preheat a charcoal grill, gas grill, or flat griddle to very high heat.
- 6. Place the artichokes, cut side down, on the grill or griddle for 5 to 7 minutes, until the surface is charred. Flip them and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, letting the outside leaves char a little, if desired. Remove from the heat. (If necessary, you can cook the artichokes in 2 batches, keeping the first batch warm in a low oven.)
- 7. Arrange 1 or 2 halves per person on each plate, depending on the size of the artichokes. Slice the remaining 2 lemons into wedges and serve, with mayonnaise or another dip of your choosing, alongside the artichokes.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:
Testers ChoiceTesters Choice
May 07, 2013
I absolutely loved this recipe! I’ve always been a fervent believer that artichokes are worth every bit of their effort. The anticipation of working your way through the artichoke. Removing and savoring one leaf at a time. Focusing on the tender heart that is soon to reveal itself. While the recipe was an easy one, it definitely took some time and I’m not sure that I would choose to serve it as an appetizer as it was quite messy. It serves itself better as a side dish (with lots of napkins on hand). I loved the charred flavor that the grill produced. It created a depth of flavor that steaming artichokes never quite achieves. I paired my artichokes with a creamy Champagne vinaigrette (sour cream, Champagne vinegar, olive oil, etc.) and they were devoured by the entire family. Even our two-year-old patiently worked his way through the meaty leaves (for the first time!) and relished every bite of his delicious artichoke heart. I see this recipe becoming a regular offering at our table, especially during the summer months.
May 07, 2013
This is a great dish. My husband and I dusted off the grill and made these for dinner with grilled chicken thighs. Delicious! They were crisp, juicy, tender, and cooked pretty much perfectly. The recipe is very close to perfect, but I did have a few questions along the way. Just wondering if there is a rule of thumb as to how to pick a good and yummy artichoke? Is there any particular way to tell if a raw artichoke is good or bad? Does the leaf color matter? Should it be green? Can you pull the leaves away easily? I just usually grab the first ones I see. Should there be any preparation done to the artichoke before you put it into the boiling water? Like remove the outer leaves? I just cut the stems slightly because they were a bit gross at the ends. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Davina, swell questions! We answered them in the LC Note above….]
May 07, 2013
I haven’t made artichokes in a long time and thought this would be a nice change from the traditional “boil in water and serve with a dipping sauce.” artichokes. It was! They were cooked through in the suggested 20 minutes. After pouring the oil on the artichokes, I sprinkled them with cracked black pepper and let them sit about 15 minutes, then I grilled the ‘chokes on the Big Green Egg for 7 minutes and they had a nice, smoky flavor to them. I served them with store-bought mayo mixed with a little garlic and lemon juice. They were a winner!
May 07, 2013
This recipe gives you a very easy way to produce a somewhat dramatic appetizer. Plus, the artichokes are grilled, and everything tastes better grilled, right? My artichokes took about 25 minutes to get tender, although this was a function of the size of the artichokes. I used the lemon pepper as directed, but I think you could have a lot of leeway here with the seasoning. It could be fun to get creative with the spice blend. Although the recipe says it serves 4, I think for an appetizer portion, half an artichoke per person would be more appropriate, which would give you 8 servings. A dip to accompany the artichoke is also a place where you can use your imagination. I served the Lemon Chive Mayo Dip that is part of the Shrimp with Three Dipping Sauces recipe.
Grilled Artichokes Recipe © 2012 Jay Bentley | Patrick Dillon. Photo © 2012 Lynn Donaldson. All rights reserved.