Sunday, August 5, 2012

Grilled Artichoke with Two Dipping Sauces

Just about every time our family eats artichokes, we talk about how amazing it is that someone decided it would be a good idea to eat an artichoke. Have you ever thought about it? First of all artichokes are not a welcoming looking vegetable - they're not really the pretty of a color, they have sharp little thorns on every leaf, those leaves are thick and tough, and that's just the outside! Inside is that intimidating hairy purple stuff... So our family thinks it's truly amazing that people figured out how to eat artichokes. If you know the history about how humans started eating artichokes, please tell me.


Don't be intimidated by these mysterious vegetables... with a few steps, you can grill delicous artichokes to enjoy as an appetizer or side with your favorite summer meal.

Grilled Artichokes
2 whole artichokes
1 lemon, quartered
freshly ground sea salt & peppercorns

Sesame Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Green Goddess Dipping Sauce
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup fresh parsley
3 tablespoons cilantro, basil, or other fresh herb of your choice
3 tablespoons fresh tarragon
3 chives, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
juice of 1 lemon
salt & pepper

prepare the artichokes...
Fill a large stockpot about half full with water. Add about a teaspoon of salt. Place the pot over high heat and bring water to a boil. Rub the outside of each artichoke with the lemon. Then squeeze any remaining juice into the water and toss the lemon pieces into the water as well. Place the artichokes in the boiling water, cover and steam for about 20 to 30 minutes or until a fork pierces the bottom of each artichoke easily.

While the artichokes are boiling, prepare the sauces...

for the sesame dipping sauce...
Whisk all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

for the green goddess dipping sauce...
Place the parsley, tarragon, chives, other herbs, and garlic in a food processor and finely chop. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

finish the artichokes...
When the artichokes are tender at the bottom, remove from the boiling water and allow to cool slightly until they can be handled without burning your hands. Using a large sharp knife, cut each artichoke in half lengthwise.
Remove the fuzzy center and purple leaves using a small sharp knife. To remove the fuzz easily, cut along the bottom of the "hairy fuzz" in a half circle, remove some of the purple leaves that surround the fuzz and use your small knife to cut around the hair that extends toward the leaves.

Drizzle each artichoke with olive oil. Season with sea salt & freshly ground peppercorns. Grill the artichokes for about 10 minutes in medium-high heat. Turning once. This is to warm them and give them that char-grilled flavor. Serve immediately with the dipping sauces.

If you haven't eaten an artichoke before, here's how... you simply pull a leaf from the artichoke, dip the tender center into a sauce, and scrape the tender "meat" of the artichoke leaf with your teeth. Work your way toward the center (or heart) of each artichoke. Enjoy!

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