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Fresh Fridays: Mediterranean Grilled Artichokes

November 20, 2009

(photo via Country Living)

For most people, the center of the Thanksgiving plate is the traditional turkey with stuffing and cranberries.  With a little imagination, however, you can give vegetables a center-of-the-plate starring role, by launching some new traditions that go beyond Aunt Sally’s creamed onions and Grandma’s butternut squash.

We think the Pilgrims would have eaten artichokes if given the opportunity. They wouldn’t have known that artichokes are one of the foods known to be highest in anti-oxidants or that steaming artichokes can increase their anti-oxidant capacity 15-fold. But they would have loved the taste, and felt right at home tearing the leaves off and eating them by hand.

At your table, artichokes will be a great conversation-starter and ice-breaker, since it’s almost impossible to be reserved and formal as you scrape the soft flesh off each leaf with your teeth! Artichokes can be served at room temperature, so it’s easy to make our Mediterranean Grilled Artichokes ahead.

Mediterranean Grilled Artichokes

*serves 4-8*

Ingredients

  • 4 artichokes
  • Vinaigrette:
  • 1 TBS grainy mustard
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup or less of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 TBS of Balsamic or red wine vinegar (whatever the preference)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp oregano
Preparation
  1. Prepping the artichokes: With a scissors, snip off the needle-like ends of the leaves of 4 artichokes. Cut the artichokes in half and put them in a bowl with water and the juice of one lemon, so that the halves don’t brown.
  2. When all the artichokes have been prepped put them in a steamer and steam until they are soft and the leaves can easily be pulled off (usually about 35-45 minutes).
  3. While the artichokes are steaming, prepare a vinaigrette to baste the artichokes with as they grill, and to use at table as a dipping sauce.
  4. For the vinaigrette: In a bowl, gently whisk the mustard and crushed garlic. Slowly whisk in the extra virgin olive oil until the mixture thickens and the oil is well incorporated; add more olive oil if necessary.  Then whisk in the vinegar and taste.
  5. If it needs more acid, add vinegar; if the acid is too strong then add more olive oil.  Now you can add the oregano and salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust to your liking.  The vinaigrette will look like a typical salad dressing but taste sensational!
  6. Once the artichokes are ready and steamed, brush the cut side of the artichoke with the vinaigrette.  Put cut side down on the grill and baste other side.  (Use a broiler if a grill is not available.) Once both sides have been grilled and put on a serving platter, pour some of the vinaigrette over the artichokes and serve warm or at room temperature.  You can also reserve some of the vinaigrette to use as a dipping sauce for the leaves!

Recipe from Mediterranean Meals

Find more Fresh Fridays here

Have a great weekend!

– Alison

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