Tender, smokey artichoke halves, easily and beautifully grilled.
- 2 to 4 large globe artichokes
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary, oregano, and thyme
1 Place chopped herbs in a small bowl, cover with olive oil. Microwave on high heat for 30 seconds (or heat oil and herbs on the stove top until warm). Let the herbs seep in the warm olive oil while you prepare the artichokes.
2 Prepare a large pot with an inch of water at the bottom and a steamer rack. Prepare the artichokes. Have lemon wedges ready. If you want a nice presentation, use scissors to snip away the pointy tips of the artichoke leaves. As you trim the artichokes, rub the cut areas with juice from the lemon wedges to prevent the artichokes from turning brown from oxidation. Use a vegetable peeler to cut away the thick outer layer of the artichoke stems. Trim the stems to 2 inches from the base of the artichoke. Cut off and discard the top 1/2 inch of the artichokes. Cut the artichokes in half. Use a strong metal spoon to scoop out the fuzzy chokes and the small inner artichoke leaves. Rub lemon juice all over the inside and exposed cut areas of the artichokes.
3 Heat the water in the large pot with a steamer rack on high. When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium high and place the artichoke halves, cut side down on the steam rack. Cover. Steam for 20 minutes (less of more, depending on the size of the artichokes), until you can easily pull off the outer leaves, and you can pierce the heart easily with a knife. The artichokes can be just a tiny bit less cooked than would be typically perfect for steamed artichokes, as you will be cooking them further on the grill.
4 Prepare your grill for direct, high heat. Use a pastry brush to brush the artichoke all over with the herb infused oil. Sprinkle all over with salt. Place the artichoke halves cut-side-down on the grill grates. Cover, and grill for 5 to 10 minutes, until you have nice grill mark on the cut sides of the artichokes.
To serve, sprinkle the cut sides with more lemon juice. Serve alone or with mayonnaise, remoulade, or aioli.
Yield: Serves 4.