Grilled Artichokes

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One of my favorite restaurants in town has grilled artichokes on the appetizer menu. They come to the table sizzling, slightly charred and steaming with a wonderfully cool garlic aioli sauce. Of course, the table (i.e. me) dig straight in devouring the artichoke, bumping elbows with the person next to them in a race to get to the heart. So delicious.

I’ve been having so much fun hosting meals on my back patio. Our beloved farm table Aaron built a few years ago from the deck at our old house has a new coat of varnish and my flower pots are starting to fill in and after a spring of nearly relentless wind, it is a special kind of treat to sit on the back patio and enjoy the warm air and views of orchards and mountains in the distance.

My mother and one of my best friend’s had a birthday in the last couple of months and it was the perfect excuse to host a gathering. I wanted to make something a little extra special and the thought of those mouth watering artichokes pushed me to try my hand at making them myself. I ended up kind of winging it, recipe wise, based on several recipes I looked at, but they turned out really well and everyone seemed to enjoy them based on how quickly they disappeared.

Grilled Artichokes with Garlic Aioli

  • 4 artichokes
  • 1lemon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • salt

In the largest pot you have, fill it 2/3 with water and bring to a boil. Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the water and then throw in the lemon. Add a generous handful of salt. When the water boils, drop in the artichokes, making sure they are submerged in water. Turn the heat down to medium so they are at a slow boil. Let the artichokes simmer in the water for about 15 minutes until they are bright green and soft.

Remove from the water and let drain in a strainer for a few minutes. Cut in half and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with a bit more salt. Heat the barbecue to medium heat. Place the artichokes half side down and cook for about 5 minutes or until the artichoke has grill marks. Turn and cook for another 3-5 minutes on the opposite side.

*you aren’t really trying to cook the artichokes on the grill, more just getting a little smoky flavor and crispness.

When the artichokes have been charred on all sides, remove from heat. Serve with garlic aioli or melted butter. Devour.

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Garlic Aioli

  • 1 cup mayonnaise (good mayonnaise as Ina Garten would say: no miracle whip, no cheap stuff)
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper

Chop garlic and parsley very finely. Mix into mayonnaise with salt and pepper. Juice the lemon directly into the mixture to thin. Add more or less of any of the ingredients to get to desired texture and flavor.

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