I'm thinking of buying my grill a leotard and leg warmers cause it's getting such a workout. In 4 weeks I've gone through a tank and a half of propane, burned the bejeezus out of my hand, and emitted enough carcinogens to kill a small country. I should know better. After all, I wrote an article about safe grilling for EatingWell two years ago. You should take a look.
I should take a look, too.
Part of this grillapalooza stems from the appliance's new location; we moved it from way across the yard to right outside the kitchen's back door. So now it's basically as close as the oven. I'm grilling everything from apricots to chicken to artichokes. Maybe I'll throw spaghetti on there next.
Grilling gives the artichokes a subtle smokiness, though you do have to boil them first to soften them up. You'll also need a bowl for the chewed up leaves, a towering wad of napkins, and, ideally, a bib. The lemon vinaigrette clings to the thistles, but it also does a number on a cute white T.
What's your favorite vegetable to toss on the grill? Enlighten me.
Recipe for Grilled Artichokes
Donna from my farmers' market knows everything about artichokes, and she hasn't steered me wrong yet. This is a close variation on her recipe. As with steamed or boiled artichokes, you eat the leaves by scraping the tender ends against your teeth and discarding the remains. For this recipe, choose baby artichokes, or the smallest ones you can find.
1 whole lemon, halved
4 baby or small artichokes
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and light the grill for direct medium-high heat.
Squeeze the juice from the lemon into a large bowl of cold water. Cut off the stem from one artichoke. Use a heavy knife to slice off the top 1/4 of the artichoke, then use a scissors to trim off any spiky points that remain. Slice in half lengthwise and use a grapefruit spoon to scrape out any inner purplish leaves. (You may scrape out the fuzzy choke now or after boiling.) Toss the artichoke in the lemon water and repeat with remaining artichokes.
Boil the artichokes for about 10 minutes, then drain and pat dry. (Remove the fuzzy choke if you haven't already done so.) Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl or measuring cup, and brush both sides of each artichoke with the vinaigrette.
Grill about 4 minutes per side, or until grill marks appear. Drizzle artichokes with remaining vinaigrette. May be served warm, cold, or at room temperature. Don't forget to put out a bowl for the leaves.