we all need some veggie to love

Yes, the Jefferson Airplane song popped right into my head this Sunday afternoon as I took my first bite of An Artichoke. Ever. A truly psychedelic experience. The lyrics ask the ultimate question (about terrifying, hypothetical circumstances): When the garden flowers, baby, are dead and your mind is so full of red, don’t you want some veggie to love? Don’t you need some veggie to love?

You see, Andrew and I were on our regular Sunday afternoon Trader Joes trip, already in the checkout line and this basket of nestled artichokes (where one might find magazines or candy at a lesser grocery store) made me want to dance like the hippies in the video above.

Mom and Dad always wanted me to try new things, though I believe they had steak in mind. I felt very adventurous with my little green friend and wanted to do this right. I think if foods are prepared with care and proper technique, anyone can make any food fabulous. I feel like there are few occasions where high heat can do a food wrong, precisely why I turn to roasting and grilling most often. Though I hadn’t a clue what to do with an artichoke (thank you, internet videos), I figured it would surely enjoy sitting a spell on my favorite blue grill.

A special thanks to The Killer Griller for the confidence to grill my artichokes. I’m also sending you once again to my Harris Teeter friend to learn how to prepare an artichoke for steaming through his brief instructional video.

Lindsey’s Garlic Grilled Artichokes

serves one as a main course, easily adapted to serve more

an artichoke

olive oil

four garlic cloves

half a lemon

coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

you will also need:

a pastry or silicone brush and aluminum foil

for optional Let’s-Pretend-This-is-Aioli dipping sauce

1/4 cup mayonnaise

Prep the artichoke

Preheat your grill to medium heat. Cut an inch off the top of the artichoke, cut the outer tips, and use a vegetable peeler on the stem (more visual instructions here). Immediately rub the exposed parts with a cut lemon to prevent browning. Reserve the lemon.

Steam the artichoke

Place the artichoke on a large sheet of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil (or melted butter if you’re feeling naughty). Wrap the foil around the ‘choke and seal well. (Make individual packets if you’re preparing more than one artichoke). Place on the grill for about 40 minutes, or until a paring knife slides easily into the middle—you can test right when it’s on the grill.

Make the marinade

While the artichokes are steaming on the grill, crush the garlic cloves with a firm whack of your wide chef’s knife. (If you only have a narrow knife, you can smash it with the bottom of a pan, a meat pounder, etc. Get creative). Stir the smashed garlic pieces into 1/2 cup of olive oil, and season very well with coarse salt and fresh pepper.

When the artichoke is tender, remove the bundled ‘choke to your cutting board and carefully open. Cut the globe in half and scrape out the fuzzy middle—click here to watch The Killer Griller demonstrate. Brush both sides generously with your garlic marinade.

Grill that baby

Place the artichoke halves cute cut side up on the hot grill, the garlic cloves snuggled in the middle of the heart (sigh). Grill for about four minutes and turn gently with tongs, setting the garlic aside. Turn again if you like, until the vegetable has gorgeous char marks. Put on a serving plate.

Chop the softened garlic very fine and stir into the mayo along with a big squeeze of lemon. Add coarse salt and lots of pepper. Get out a big napkin, rip and dip away. Don’t bother with a fork.

Three minutes later, the marvelous massacre:

What is your vegetable/cooking Everest?

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7 Comments

Filed under budget, dinners, health, here to share, techniques, the basics

7 responses to “we all need some veggie to love

  1. Mary Andrews

    I’ve eaten artichokes all my life, have special artichoke plates and everything…but have never had them grilled! Thank you, Lindsey, I can hardly wait!
    Mary

  2. Kay

    Lindsey,
    I stuff our artichokes with Mike’s grandmother’s recipe.. They are fabulous and I guess I really poach them. I use Italian bread crumbs, arichoke paste, sauted onion, parm cheese. I put them in a pot with about 2inches of water and a little olive oil . Cook with lid on about an hour. It’s a family favorite.
    Kay

  3. Brittany

    this is so awesome AND simple……..also, yay for Trader Joes and YAY for you having great musical taste! 🙂

  4. Mary Andrews

    Artichokes are a big favorite in our family and the kids loved the process of eating them leaf by leaf. Malcolm was only fooled for a short time when we told him that he wouldn’t like the heart…it must have been something about how the rest of us hung over him offering to “help” him!

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