Artichokes are usually served steamed, but these nutritional powerhouse vegetables are more versatile than they may seem. If you’re looking for a new twist on artichoke preparation, grilling produces a satisfying smoked flavor, especially when paired with a lemon garnish.
How to Grill Artichokes: Choosing the Best Artichoke Globes
The best choices for grilling are the first baby artichokes of the season, picked while still small and tender. Globes should feel heavy, with no visible bruising or marks. Leaves should be dark green and tightly closed. Even if there are no baby artichokes to be found, select the smaller globes as they will be more tender and flavorful than larger ones.
Artichokes require quite a bit of preparation before they’re ready to hit the grill. Have a lemon on hand to squeeze lemon juice over exposed inside areas of the artichoke as you work. This will keep them from turning brown.
- Peel any extra leaves from the stem. Snip the spiny tips off all remaining leaves.
- Trim about 1 inch off the tip of the artichoke. Trim the tough, fibrous end off the stem as well. Remove the outer layer from the remaining stem with a vegetable peeler.
- Slice the artichokes into halves, exposing the center.
- Use a spoon to remove the furry choke in the center of the globe, dropping each half into lemon water when it is finished. You can slice into quarters for faster cooking time if you prefer.
- Boil or steam the artichokes until you can pierce the stem with a knife. The majority of the cooking is done at this time, so make sure the artichokes have reached the desired tenderness before transferring to the grill.
How to Grill Artichokes: Ready for the Grill
With artichokes steamed or boiled to make them tender, you can now place them on the grill to add a delicious smoked flavor.
- Preheat grill to medium heat.
- Brush artichokes with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place artichokes onto the grill center side down.
- Grill for 8-10 minutes over medium heat, or until slightly charred.
Your artichokes should be tender, with nice grill marks. To serve, squeeze lemon juice over the artichokes and offer hollandaise, vinaigrette, or lemon herb sauces for dipping. You can enjoy them either warm or chilled. If you plan to serve them chilled, you can grill the artichokes up to 24 hours in advance and store them in the refrigerator.