Grilled Artichokes

April 23, 2012

Grilled Artichokes

Sara Jones, Tucson CSA

Eating an artichoke takes a bit of work and the inedible leaves and choke produce a fair amount of ‘waste’.  For some, this is all part of the fun and to others it is just tedious.  If you take a few minutes to prep your artichokes beforehand you can have a fairly simple eating experience, though.  If you are working with small artichokes the process is especially easy, if they are a bit larger you will just need to be more aggressive in your paring away of the inedible parts.

5-7 small to medium artichokes (don’t use large artichokes for this recipe)

1-2 tablespoon citrus juice

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Pinch dried thyme

Salt and pepper

Prep artichokes:

The goal here is to whittle the vegetable down to its completely edible core.  With this recipe, the easiest way to do this is to cut the veggies in half lengthwise so you can see what you are dealing with.  Feel the choke (the part right above the heart in the center of the artichoke); if it is tender and fuzzy you can leave it, if it is prickly you need to take the tip of a spoon to scoop it out.

Next, feel the central leaves above the choke: where they become hard and pokey is the line where you need to cut and discard the top of the artichoke.

Now begin discarding the outer leaves, you need to get down to leaves that are mostly a very pale green and snap easily when bent in half.  You probably need to remove at least 3 layers of leaves, possibly several more, before you get to the tender central leaves.

Rub the cut parts of the artichoke with citrus juice and finish prepping the rest of the veggies.

In a large pot of salted water, boil the prepped artichokes for about 10-20 minutes, until almost tender.  Drain, then toss with the olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper.

Place cut side down on a hot grill (or cut side up under the broiler) and cook for a few minutes until beginning to brown and crisp in spots, turn over and cook for a few more minutes.  Remove from heat and season with a bit more citrus juice and salt and pepper.  Serve warm or cold.

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