I have tried Grilled Artichokes many times in various restaurants, but never had the courage to prepare on my own. Why not? The Carolina Meat & Fish Co. got a case of these beauties, so I took a few home and thought I would experiment.
Actually, they were not as difficult as I thought. As much as I hate to admit, they came out better than any I have ever had. I also took a ton of photos, so you can see exactly how to prepare. Have a little bowl of lemon juice at the ready. These babies can brown up quickly…the lemon juice will help stop this from happening.
These are great served as an appetizer. You may want to add a third or fourth. My Hubby at them all!!! You definitely need a few kitchen tools for this recipe. A great pair of kitchen shears for sure…click here. A really sharp knife and the ability to steam. I would not recommend placing the artichokes in boiling water. I just used a big pot and placed a metal colander above the water. Just make sure the water is not touching the artichokes as they are steaming. You could also use a bamboo steamer…just check the water levels during the steaming process.
Start boiling a big pot of water. Rinse and dry the artichokes. Pull off any tiny leaves around the steam. With kitchen shears, snip off the tips of the leaves. Cut about an inch off of the top of the artichoke. Coat exposed top with a bit of lemon juice.
Rinse again under cold water. Pull the leaves out just a touch to remove any dirt or grit while rinsing. Cut off the hard part of the stem and peel the outer layer with a vegetable peeler. Add more lemon juice to any exposed area of the artichokes.
With a very sharp knife. Cut the artichokes in half, lengthwise. With a spoon or melon baller, scoop out the furry insides. Try not to scoop out too much of the flesh. Always have the bowl of lemon juice handy to place on exposed areas of the artichokes. Rinse one last time. You can even add a touch more lemon juice to the exposed inside of the artichokes before steaming.
Fit metal strainer inside the pot. Be sure that the bottom of the strainer is not touching the water. Place artichoke halves in strainer, inside facing down. Place lid and allow to steam until tender, but not falling apart. This will take about 30 to 35 minutes.
As the artichokes are steaming, prepare the lemon aioli. You can place in a food processor, or use an immersion blender. Combine all of the ingredients for the aioli. Blend until nice and creamy. Reserve in fridge.
Remove steamed artichokes and place on pan, flesh side up. Prepare your grill. Brush or drizzle the insides of the steamed artichokes with olive oil. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Grill for about five to six minutes, or until you achieve beautiful grill marks.
Remove artichokes from grill. Plate and season with kosher salt. Serve with fresh lemon wedges and a small bowl of the lemon aioli! ENJOY!!!