Grilled baby artichokes are always a winner at our house. Baby
artichokes actually are not immature in the sense of baby carrots or
miniature pattypan squash; they are fully grown versions of regular
artichokes, but are no more than 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Although they
still need to be trimmed, true baby artichokes have barely developed
chokes, which can be eaten, and a greater proportion of edible light
Learn about the
History and Legends of Artichokes and check out
How to purchase, store, prepare, cook, & eat artichokes (with photos), and more of great
Grilled Baby Artichokes
Yields: 4 servings
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 15 min
Lemon Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
Prepare the Lemon Vinaigrette; set aside until ready to use.
Purchase and Prepare Baby Artichokes:
Baby artichokes are not a separate
variety but merely smaller versions of larger artichokes. Their size
comes from their location on the artichoke plant. They are picked from
the lower parts of the artichoke plant where the plant fronds protect
them from sun, in effect stunting their growth.
Baby artichokes are sold in plastic bags or
loose. Their size can vary from walnut to jumbo egg size. Size is no
indication of age. (Some babies are bigger than other babies!) Choose baby
artichokes that are firm and heavy for their size. Most have no fuzzy choke.
Bend back lower, outer petals of
artichokes until they snap off easily near base. Continue doing this
until you reach a point where the leaves are half green (at the top) and
half yellow (at the bottom).
Using a sharp stainless steel knife, cut
off top third of artichokes or just below the green tips of the petals.
Pare all remaining dark green areas from bases. Cut off stems.
Halve or quarter as desired. If center
petals are purple or pink remove center petals and fuzzy centers. Dip or
rub all surfaces with lemon juice.
In a large saucepan, bring 1 1/2 quarts of water to a boil.
Add prepared baby artichokes and cook approximately 7 to 10 minutes or until you can
easily pierce them with a fork, but they still offer some resistance. Drain and immediately
and immerse in cold water to stop the cooking.
When cool, cut the baby artichoke in half lengthwise, sprinkle
them with olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
Barbecue grill. Cover barbecue with lid, open any
vents, and grill them over a medium-hot fire, cut side down for about 5 minutes, or until
the cut sides are well browned.
Pour the Lemon Vinaigrette over grilled artichokes and
toss. This can be served right away, but it is much better if allowed to sit for an hour
for the flavors to mingle. It will keep, covered and refrigerated, for about 3 days. .
Makes 4 servings.
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed
lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra-virgin
2 tablespoons chopped pitted black olives
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, olive
oil, olives, and pepper; whisk together well.