killing time between meals

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The Art of Artichokes


One of my current obsessions is artichokes. And since I’ve been ordering them all over town, it seems I accidentally entered myself in a local artichoke-off.

Contender #1: J. Alexander’s Steamed Artichokes
Served with a rémoulade, these were nice and salty, but something was missing. It was too plain. (BTW—their site shows a photo of a grilled artichoke, but when I ordered it, the thing was just steamed. Promise. Also, there’s not a menu available online. What’s that about? Psh.)

Contender #2: City House‘s Steamed Artichokes with Crab Dip
I thought the crab dip would come on the side, but it was all right on top. The concoction of creamy dip & fresh artichoke topped with crunchy breadcrumbs was tasty, but it was a little awkward to eat. I wasn’t sure if I should pull the leaves off and dip them, or just eat the dip with a fork to get to the heart of the matter. It was too much.

Contender #3: Bricktop’s Grilled Artichokes
Grilled with butter and/or olive oil, these artichokes came with a salty-charred flavor, plus aioli and drawn butter for dipping. It was juuuuuust right! My bestie Amy (who has good taste in food and design, as you can see from her blog) and I have gone back many times simply because we are craving this.

Bricktop’s version was the clear winner, so I wanted to try and recreate it at home. I found this recipe that I tweaked ever so slightly. The result was divine! I cannot wait to make & eat these again. So simple. So delicious.

Garlicky Grilled Artichokes
Makes 4 servings

2 large artichokes, trimmed, halved & chokes removed
2 lemons
3/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Fill a large bowl with cold water, and squeeze the juice from one lemon into it. Trim the tops off the artichokes, cut them in half lengthwise, and scrape out the fuzzy choke with a spoon. Place the halves into the bowl of lemon water to keep them from turning brown.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat.
  • Add artichokes to boiling water, and cook for about 15 minutes. Drain and refrigerate until you are ready to grill.
  • Squeeze the remaining lemon into a bowl. Stir in the olive oil, garlic, and salt & pepper.
  • Using a brush, coat the artichokes with the garlic dip. Grill the artichokes for 5 to 10 minutes, basting with dip and turning frequently, until the tips are slightly charred.
  • Place a small cube of butter in the center of each hot artichoke half. Sprinkle artichokes and remaining dip with parsley, and serve immediately.

Here are some photos of the process. Enjoy!

Next time, I think I will:

  • Not share these with anybody.
  • Maybe look for a stuffed version that I can broil in the oven and get the same charred goodness.

7 thoughts on “The Art of Artichokes

  1. Pingback: What is this? Happiness. | killing time between meals

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  3. Hello,
    Thank you for sharing your recipe. In turn, I share your artichoke obsession, and love J. Alexander’s…you’re recipe is quite close as an insider at J. Alexander’s advised that they do par-boil, then grill their artichokes, and they use their homemade version of Montreal Steak Seasoning. Looking forward to trying your recipe.. Thanks again!

  4. LOVE it. Your recipe is now what J Alexanders serves but they also add a little oregano too. Double yum! Thank you for sharing the recipe

  5. Yum! I bought an artichoke the other day and am trying to find a good recipe, I might end up using yours!

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