These grilled artichokes with pepper and lemon are just as lovely served alone as they are with your best dipping sauce. A simple, surprising, impressive appetizer or side that’s easy and, thankfully, doesn’t heat up the kitchen.
*How do I choose an artichoke?
When you’re standing at the farmers market or grocery store contemplating which prickly, thorny, pointed artichokes you should select, look for those whose leaves are tightly closed and form snug, compact heads. Pass over any whose leaves are splayed in all directions. The leaves themselves ought to be green; any tinges of purple are fine but disregard any with brownish hues. Pick up the artichoke and fondle it. The veggie ought to feel heavy in your hand. And rest assured that this is one of those things that, as with many things in life, you come to know and learn and appreciate with experience.
- Quick Glance
- 35 M
- 1 H, 40 M
- Serves 4 to 8
Fill a large stock pot about 3/4 full of water and salt it heavily. Bring to a boil. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice water.
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. To test for doneness, insert the tip of a knife in the artichoke stems; they should be very tender.
When the artichokes are ready, plunge them in the ice water until cool enough to handle.
Cut the cooled artichokes in half vertically. Using a spoon or a paring knife, scoop or trim the feathery, inedible choke in the center along with any small leaves and discard, leaving the outer leaves and the heart intact.
Using your hand, flatten the artichokes slightly by pressing them, cut side down, against the work surface. Then place them, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the oil over the cut side of the artichokes and sprinkle with the lemon pepper or pepper. Let the artichokes rest at room temperature for up to 30 minutes to let the oil and pepper penetrate.
Preheat a charcoal grill, gas grill, or grill pan to high.
Place the artichokes, cut side down, on the grill and cook until the surface is charred, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip and cook for 5 to 7 minutes more, letting the outside leaves char a little, if desired. Remove from the heat. (If necessary, you can cook the artichokes in 2 batches.)
Arrange 1 or 2 artichoke halves on each plate. Slice the remaining 2 lemons into wedges and serve them alongside the artichokes along with mayonnaise or another dip of your choosing. Originally published May 07, 2013.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
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. It created a depth of flavor that steaming artichokes never quite achieves.
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. 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.
I really enjoyed these grilled artichokes. I had never had fresh artichokes, but I surely will in the very near future.
The lemon and pepper was a perfect complement to the flavor of the artichoke. I grilled them over charcoal and I think that was a plus as well. I added a bit of cracked black pepper and lemon zest to some mayo and it made a great dipping sauce.