Growing up my family had one special-occasion meal – Peel & Eat Shrimp and Steamed Artichokes both with plenty of butter for dipping. Birthdays, straight-A’s, a winning sports season, it didn’t matter – if there was something to be celebrated that’s what we had. Sometimes we would even try to make up accomplishments that would warrant it on an otherwise normal day. Those two dishes are still my first go-to’s when I think about what to make someone for a birthday dinner or to celebrate some achievement.
Even with as often as I eat artichokes, I had literally never cooked them any other way. It had never even occurred to me to cook them any other way, UNTIL one of those celebration dinners fell on a surprisingly warm spring day when we decided to throw everything on the grill and also celebrate that summer was on its way. The shrimp became Grilled Shrimp and Red Onions with Feta, Cilantro and Lime and we found this amazing Grilled Artichoke recipe. These are now a staple of my celebration dinners and sneak onto the menu anytime I get my (ancient) charcoal grill going during artichoke season. Boiling them first makes more of the leaf soft and edible than normal steaming, and grilling them crisps the edges and gives them an amazing smoky flavor.
If you’ve never encountered an artichoke before, here are a few tips:
- Be careful, the “chokes” on the end of the leaves will poke.
- After cooking, peel the leaves off one at a time, (dip in melted butter if desired) and scrape/bite off the soft end of the leaves with your teeth.
- Once all the leaves are gone you’ll be left with the “heart” which has a bunch of fine “hairs” on top. Carefully scrape those off with a spoon – they are undeveloped “chokes” so you definitely don’t want to eat them – slice the heart (dip in butter) and enjoy!
This is definitely my new favorite way to eat artichokes, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! (Add it to your personal recipe library on Gatheredtable to see it in one of your future weekly menus.)