Grilled Baby Artichoke Recipe

Grilled Baby Artichoke Recipe Recipe

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I'm always shocked when people say they don't like fresh artichokes. They are so underrated. I think it's because they look difficult to cook. During my childhood in France, I enjoyed a very simple presentation that Maman would often serve us when artichokes were in season. She would boil then grill the artichokes so that the hearts were soft and creamy.

Artichokes prepared this way taste great with some sort of dressing. This particular one is made the way Maman used to, using vinegar, mustard and olive oil. To add a little twist, I "stuffed" a mixture of green olives and parsley into the artichokes. I served the finished artichokes with braised chicken as a side dish. Eating artichokes can be a little messy but the meal tasted heavenly. The dish was very tasty while still being healthy. It doesn't take too long to prepare and you're in for a special treat!

 

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Ingredients

Yields: 6 servings

6 small artichokes
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh curly parsley, chopped
4 Italian Castelvetrano green olives, pitted and finely chopped
2 teaspoons apple jelly, optional
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons citrus Champagne vinegar (or lemon)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground


Directions

Prepping the artichokes:

Place a large bowl filled with water in the sink. Swirl the artichokes upside down in the water. Make sure there is no dirt trapped between the leaves. Tear and remove the tough outer leaves. Remove the stems using a sharp knife.

Boiling the artichokes:

Place the artichokes in a large pot right side up. Cover with about 2 to 3 cups of water. The level of water should go one third of the way up the artichokes.

Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for 30 minutes until the bottoms of the artichokes are soft. A good way to check is to poke the choke with a paring knife.

Remove the artichokes from the pot and let stand for about 15 minutes. Drain the artichoke and let them cool a little (do not rinse and let the liquid evaporate). Cut them in half length-wise using a sharp chef's knife.

Note: Don't discard the artichoke broth. Strain it and drink it. I know it's not very tasty (slightly bitter) but go for it. As a teenager, Maman (my mother) always gave us the artichoke broth to drink. She used to call it the detox diet drink for smooth, flawless skin, and it does work. It's a diuretic. Maman would always praise its therapeutic qualities and I guess it stuck with me. Even now, from time to time, I do have this diet drink.

Grilling artichokes:

In a large non-stick pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the halved artichokes face down and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the pan when caramelized. Let cool to room temperature.

Making simple salad dressing:

In a sealable jar, dissolve the apple jelly in vinegar. Stir well. Add the mustard and the rest of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and shake well until combined.

In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon curly parsley, the chopped olives and 2 tablespoons of the salad dressing. Mix well.

Assembly time:

Stuff the artichokes with the olive mixture (in between the leaves).

Garnish with the remaining parsley and serve the rest of the dressing on the side.

Serve with poultry or fish.

Bon appétit!


Tips

I stuffed the artichokes with Castelvetrano olives to add a refreshing, sharp, briny flavor. I chose these specific olives because of their meaty and buttery flesh. If you don't have any, you could add capers or cornichons (small pickles). 

Cooked artichokes do not refrigerate well, so prepare them right before serving.

You can keep the uncooked artichokes in the refrigerator for several days in the vegetable drawer. Make sure you wrap the stem with a moist paper towel to prevent oxidation. Alternatively, you can put them in a vase filled with room temperature, slightly sweetened water. It's pretty and it reminds you that they need to be cooked.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on September 1, 2011.


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