Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Grilled Artichokes

Several years ago I ate a grilled artichoke at Houston's and fell in love with it.  I've always been grill shy and thought that guys were supposed to be behind the grill.  Tired of waiting for Steve to get home to start the grill, I asked him to teach me how to use it.  That was two years ago.  Since then I've been grilling (and sometimes burning) everything.  

This is my version of Houston's grilled artichoke:

Start with one or two medium artichokes.

Wash and trim artichokes.  You can rub them down with a lemon to help them retain their green color if you want.  I'm lazy and skip this step if I'm not serving these to company. 

Now you need to steam the artichokes.  This is the lazy way to steam them.  Put them in a bowl in about four tablespoons of water, wrap the bowls in plastic wrap and microwave them for five minutes each.  Then let them steam under the plastic wrap for an additional 5 - 10 minutes either in the microwave or on the counter.  

After you are able to easily remove an artichoke leaf, remove the plastic wrap and let them cool.  Once they are cool enough to handle, cut them in half down down the center of the artichoke.

With a sharp paring knife, make a wide V shape slit under the furry part of the artichoke.  Then take a spoon and scoop out everything above the artichoke heart and some of the smaller leaves (they're purple and pointy in the above picture).

Baste the front and back of each artichoke with olive oil.  Also be sure to put some down in between the artichoke leaves.  This will help prevent it from getting dried out on the grill.  Then season front and back with salt and pepper.

Grill on medium high heat for 5 - 10 minutes, occasionally basting with olive oil.  Flip artichokes half way through.  

Serve on their own or with melted butter.  

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