Artichokes are most often served steamed, but grilling them adds a smoky dimension to their flavor. If you can get them, first-of-the-season baby artichokes will yield extra-tender results--double the number of artichokes and reduce the cooking time as needed.
large artichokes, (3-3 1/2 pounds total)
extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
To prepare artichokes: Fill a Dutch oven with water; add the juice of 1 lemon. Trim leaves from the top of an artichoke
. Remove the outer layer(s) of leaves from the stem end and snip all remaining spiky tips from the outer leaves. Trim an inch off the bottom of the stem and use a vegetable peeler to remove the fibrous outer layer. As each artichoke is prepared, drop it into the lemon water to prevent it from turning brown.
When all the artichokes are prepared, cover the pan and bring to a boil. Boil until the base of the stem can be pierced with a fork, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium. Slice the artichokes in half lengthwise. Scoop out the choke and first few inner layers in the center until the bottom is revealed. Brush each half with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the artichokes until tender and lightly charred, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a serving platter, squeeze half a lemon over them and garnish
with the remaining lemon half cut into 4 wedges. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.
Variation: For boiled artichokes, add 5 minutes to the cooking time in Step 2. Serve whole or cut in half and scoop out the chokes.
MAKE AHEAD TIP: Grilled
artichokes will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 day and may be served chilled.
Calories 109, Total Fat 4 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat 3 g, Sodium 298 mg, Carbohydrate 17 g, Fiber 9 g, Protein 5 g, Potassium 604 mg. Daily Values: Vitamin C 35%. Exchanges: Vegetable 1,Fruit 0.5,Fat 1.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet