Artichokes are quite an underrated ingredient in my opinion. They were quite hard to find in Ireland and back when I was living in Belgium I only cooked with a fresh one once, and used tinned artichoke hearts instead in other recipes. They do require a bit of work, but you mostly need a lot of them to get a good meal out of them as more than half the artichoke isn’t edible (or well, not pleasant to eat). But they are so delicious & healthy so hopefully this recipe will encourage more people to give them a try!
The other day though we drove by the Kingston Food Hangar and decided to do our grocery shopping there & in the Tasman butchers next door. As we were browsing the fresh food section I saw these artichokes and I just got so exited that I ended up buying a few of them. There’s a few ways you can cook them, I previously boiled & stuffed artichoke. This time around I’m also boiling them, but after slicing them in half and removing more leaves. Once they are boiled we’re going to grill them in some olive oil & rosemary.
You can eat these as a snack or appetizer with a nice dip, or you can use them as a side dish for your dinner – I’ll share a new recipe using them as a side dish next week!
Boiled & grilled artichokes with olive oil & rosemary
- 3 globe artichokes, if possible baby artichokes
- olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of rosemary
- pepper & salt
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- 2 lemons
- 2 teaspoons of honey
- Optional: a few basil leaves
Bring water to a boil, add apple cider vinegar, pepper, salt and a few tablespoons of olive oil along with 1 sliced up lemon.
Cut the stem, leave about 5 cm
Start by removing the hard leaves at the base of the artichoke, keep going until the leaves become much lighter in colour.
Peel the stem, the core of the stem tastes just like the heart of the artichoke.
Rinse the artichoke.
Slice the lemons in half and rub it all over the cut artichoke, then cut the artichoke in half
When you cut them in half you'll be able to see the heart of the artichoke. On top of the heart there usually is a fuzzy bit called the choke, which is a lot less in baby artichokes. The choke is edible but just not pleasant if it's really fuzzy. Scoop it out carefully if there's a lot of it. In my case there was next to nothing and most of it got boiled off.
Add the artichokes to the boiling water. Boil at medium boil until they are tender, which will take about 15-20 minutes or more, depending on the size of course. Drain them well.
Add olive oil to a grill pan or just a regular frying pan if you don't have on. Add the rosemary.
Place the artichokes onto the pan, leaves up and grill for 5 minutes on each side.
Drizzle with honey and fresh basil.
Serve with your favourite dip or as a side dish, see notes on how to best eat them!
How to pick the best artichokes: if the leaves are open, they are quite old and won't be great. If the artichoke feels really light it's probably quite dry inside as well and finally if you squeeze it and they squeak a bit it's a sign of them being fresh as well. So heavy, squeaky, only lightly opened artichokes are the best way to go. Remember: the heart of the artichoke is the soft delicious part that you want to eat. The leaves go into the heart so the best way to eat it is to pick the leaves, scrape them along your teeth so that you scrape off the bottom. Keep going until you get to the heart, which you can just eat in full, same for the peeled stem.