Grilled Marinated Baby Artichokes 27 June, 2010

Grilled Marinated Baby Artichokes

Artichoke! Ahtichoke! Artychoke! Who doesn’t love this luscious thistle. Whistle if you do. Such a tactile experience and relaxing too. It’s definitely not for the impatient.

It’s a bit like a lobster or a crab. You have to get really intimate with it while dissecting it carefully to get to its pleasures.

We love globe artichokes, the large ones, and enjoy them often with only a small ramekin of mayonnaise for dipping the leaves and dressing the prized artichoke bottom at the end.

While perusing artichoke recipes recently on, I came across one called Grilled Baby Artichokes with Olive Oil and Lemon. As per my usual habit, I checked out the overall rating and also the users’ reviews. Lo and behold, deep into the reviews, a generous reader left the following share. Subsequent readers began reviewing this reader’s offering. We are making this today. And I quote:

“While this recipe is on the right track….I have one that is phenomenal. Never had artichokes on the grill? Once you have you won’t have it any other way. Cheap and plentiful at Trader Joe’s…purchase any size artichoke…cut stem and trim thorns from leaves. Steam or simmer whole. Cool down and refrigerate till cold. Marinade: 1c. Olive oil, ½ c. red wine vinegar, juice of ½ a lemon, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 1/2 tsp. Herbes de Provence, 1 tsp. garlic. Depending on size…cut artichokes in half, remove choke with a teaspoon…may want to quarter if large. Pour marinade over artichokes…I cook night before and marinate in the can leave on the counter or in fridge all day…grill till you see light char marks and they are warmed through. You can serve this with a basil pesto mayo…but the flavor is great on its own. I usually don’t put recipes in my comments, but when I saw this recipe I had to share…just a few more ingredients can make simple….sublime. This recipe was given to me by a restaurant manager….never hurts to ask, huh? Happy Eating!”

by A Cook from South Pasadena on 05/14/02

Grilled Marinated Baby Artichokes
Adapted from the recipe quoted above

For the marinade:

  1. 1 cup (240 ml.) extra virgin olive oil
  2. ½ cup (120 ml.) red wine vinegar
  3. Juice of ½ a lemon
  4. 1 teaspoon (5 ml.) salt
  5. ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml.) fresh ground pepper
  6. ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml.) herbes de Provence
  7. 1 teaspoon (5 ml.) crushed garlic
  • Whisk together all ingredients.

Trimming the artichokes:

First, brush the chokes under running water to remove their protective film, which is bitter. Ocean Mist Farms offers a splendid site with a video tutorial as well as text for preparing these babies.

Cut off the stem at the base of the first leaves.

Begin at the base and peel off the tough outer leaves until you begin seeing the lighter yellow-green leaves.

Trim the base that held the stems of the leaves you just removed.

Remove the top ½ inch or so.

Place the trimmed chokes in a bowl of cool water that has had some vinegar or lemon juice added to prevent browning.

  • Place the trimmed chokes in the top part of a steamer and steam for 20 minutes.
  • Remove them to an ice bath to cool.
  • When cool, drain on paper towels.
  • Cover with more paper towels and blot until almost dry.
  • Put the chokes in a large sealable storage bag.
  • Pour the marinade over the chokes, seal and marinate for at least 2 hours.
  • Prepare a grill and grill until they are heated through and have grill marks.
  • Alternately, grill them in a stovetop grilling pan or in a panini press, as I did.

Serve with any remaining marinade as a dip. Any further remaining marinade makes an excellent salad dressing.

Bon appétit

— Charles

Victor Panichkul is a journalist and writer by training; a cook, wine lover and photographer by passion; and a lover of the outdoors since moving to Oregon more than 10 years ago. He is a native of Bangkok, Thailand.

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