Thursday, August 23, 2012

Grilled Artichokes with Tarragon Butter

I love this time of year for grilling. The severe heat of the summer is beginning to wane, and the nights seem just a little more tolerable. No time like the present to stand over a hot flame grilling a big hunk of artichoke. 

There is no demure way to eat these. You must use your hands. Most people pick each leaf off, dip it in butter, and eat the heart last. I like to flip the script. I pull out the heart, dunk it in butter, and eat it first. It is the best part. Then I take 5 or 6 leaves at a time and bite the tender ends off of them. The whole thing is smoky, meaty, rich and wonderful.

Grilled Artichokes with Tarragon Butter

2 lemon
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons Old Bay

2 large artichokes
1 tablespoon canola oil
Tarragon Butter (recipe follows)

In a large soup pot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Half the lemons and add them to the water. Add the salt, and Old Bay. Trim the top third off of each artichoke. Peel the stem using a vegetable peeler and trim the end off of the stem. Cut each artichoke in half lengthwise and place each into the boiling water. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until stem is tender. Remove artichokes from the water. 

Preheat your outdoor grill on high heat. Once the artichokes are cool enough to handle, pull the fibrous "choke" out of the middle. It should slip right out. Drizzle artichoke halves with canola oil and grill them cut-side-down for about 3 minutes or until well-marked by the grill grates. Serve with Tarragon Butter. (
Serves 2-4 depending on hunger levels/greediness.)

Tarragon Butter

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
2 cloves minced garlic
sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
zest of one lemon

In a small saucepan melt the butter and add the tarragon, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Keep warm on the stove until ready to serve.

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