Oooooh yeah. It's artichoke season. Green, spiny, scaly, perhaps slightly mysterious – and so fun (and delicious) to eat.
A plain old artichoke can be slightly intimidating to the uninitiated. But once you know the drill, they're truly a cinch to cook up, and just as easy to eat.
I love the article entitled How To Cook and Eat an Artichoke over on Simply Recipes. It's a terrific, informative piece. I usually use her cooking method – throwing a bay leaf, clove of garlic, and slice of lemon into the steaming water.
The other day, I decided to take it a step further – slap a few on the BBQ, serve it up with a spicy mayo concoction, and see what happens.
Wine check/perfect pairing: Maryhill Winery's Rose of Sangiovese. We first tried this when we were at their winery last summer, on a 100 degree day. We bought a bottle of this lovely stuff, light and slightly sweet, perfect for the hot weather, and drank it under their big grapevine-covered deck overlooking the Columbia River. Along with the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches we brought. Hey, I never claimed we were the classiest couple in town!
I really do love Maryhill wines. But I've digressed plenty – back to the artichokes.
Fire-Roasted Artichokes are a company-worthy dish that would be low-maintenance to churn out (steam the 'chokes earlier in the day, then throw them on the BBQ when it's time to eat), and totally impressive. Or just make a few for yourself. I'm willing to bet you'll find yourself wanting 'em again and again. (Have I mentioned my stomach is growling?)
Here's the recipe!
Fire-Roasted Artichokes with Chipotle Aioli
Artichoke recipe adapted from this one for Claim Jumper's Fire-Roasted Artichoke
Fire-Roasted Artichokes – Ingredients:
- One bay leaf
- One garlic clove
- One slice of lemon
- Melted butter for brushing
Chipotle Aioli – Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I love the reduced fat olive-oil based stuff from Kraft)
- 1 teaspoon canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, seeds removed (unless you want heat galore) and chopped fine
- 1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce (from the can of chipotles)
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Fire-Roasted Artichokes – Instructions:
Prepare and steam the artichokes:
- Clip the tips of the artichoke leaves. They're pokey; who needs it! I, for one, haven't got time for the pain.
- Lop off the top of the artichoke – about 3/4 of an inch worth.
- Cut off the stem, so that the base is flat.
- Remove just the very bottommost leaves.
- Rinse well under cold water.
- Bring about two inches of water, along with the bay leaf, lemon slice, and garlic clove, to a boil.
- Set the artichokes bottom down in the water, and cover with lid.
- Steam the artichokes for about 30 – 40 minutes, until tender.
- Remove from water and allow to cool.
- With a very sharp knife, slice each steamed artichoke in half.
- With a spoon, scrape out the fuzzy middle above the heart.
- Brush with melted butter.
Barbecue those bad boys:
- Lay cut-side down on a hot grill – medium heat, about 325 – 350 degrees.
- Cook for about 5 – 6 minutes, until there are nice brown grill lines on it.
- Serve with chipotle mayo, or garlic butter, or lemon butter, or even mayo and soy sauce mixed together. I have yet to try this, but my friend Vix was raving about it just yesterday. I'll likely be trying it soon and reporting back.
Chipotle Aioli – Instructions:
- Mix all the ingredients together well.
- Chill for a couple of hours before serving, ideally, so the flavors blend well.
(I forgot to take a photo of the final product, so here again is a photo with the artichokes and the chipotle aioli in the background.)
Dang. Now I'm hungry.
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