Lemon Roasted Artichokes with a Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Dip and Grilled Artichokes with a Sundried Tomato Dip
Grilled, roasted, boiled, steamed, stuffed, marinated – purchased fresh, canned or frozen – be prepared, you will find me posting many recipes featuring these versatile favorites of mine! Artichokes were a seasonal treat when I was growing up, available mostly from March through May in the US, but these days they can be found in stores through mid summer and reappearing again in the fall.
Their unique sweet, tart and nutty flavor may not always be a crowd pleaser, especially on its own, purchased whole and fresh. Frozen or canned artichoke hearts seem to be more widely used adding to salads, pasta dishes or marinated as part of an appetizers plate. The common mystery to fresh seems to be how to prepare them, followed by how the heck do you eat them!
Artichokes should be a healthy green color with the petals closed tightly in a ball shape. This will ensure the artichoke is fresh and will be tender when cooked. For basic artichoke preparation tips, the California Artichoke Advisory Board provides a detailed, visual at this link, http://artichokes.org/recipes-and-such/basic-preparation. After that, the best part is eating them! Start by pulling off a petal from the cooked artichoke. Dip into a sauce and then scrape off the soft and delicious flesh with your clenched teeth. Once all of the petals are consumed, the fuzzy layer that’s covering the heart of the artichoke should be removed, leaving the tastiest part, the heart, to be eaten last, or not, if you’re someone who likes instant gratification.
I was happy to see that there were no changes needed to “veganize” my original Grilled Artichokes recipe posted in June of 2011 (recipe below), so I decided to add in a second method, Lemon Roasted Artichokes. Roasting is super easy and if you don’t mind turning on your oven in the summer, these artichokes turn out so tender and tasty! Having premade hummus on hand, the dip can be blended up in minutes!
Lemon Roasted Artichokes
8 baby artichokes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly grown black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the baby artichokes by cutting off the top about 1/2 inch and removing the outer dark green leaves and trimming the stems. Slice the artichokes in half and place each artichoke in a bowl filled with water and the juice of one lemon, tossing in the cut lemon as well. Leave the artichokes in the water until you are ready to proceed.
Coat a baking pan large enough to fit all the artichokes with about 1 tablespoon of oil. Drain the artichokes and lemons. Drizzle on a tablespoon of extra virgin olive and season them with a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss gently and place cut side down in the baking pan along with the cut lemons. Cover with foil and back for 25-30 minutes or until the leaves are tender.
Roasted Pepper Hummus Dip
Blend 1/2 large roasted pepper with 1/2 cup of hummus and the juice of one lemon until desired consistency. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
Note: Baby artichokes have little to none of the fuzzy center part that needs to be removed prior to eating. For preparing baby artichokes, the California Artichoke Advisory Board provides a detailed, visual at this link.
And the original grilled version…
Grilled Artichokes with Sun Dried Tomato Dip
For this platter, I used 2 large artichokes. I trimmed each globe’s pointy leaves, sliced the top and trimmed the stem. The cut artichokes were rubbed with lemon and submerged in a large pot filled with water, 1 teaspoon salt and the juice from one lemon. Partially cover the pot, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and gently cook approximately 35-40 minutes, or until a leave is easily pulled and the bottom can be easily pierced with a knife. Drain well and set aside. Can be made a day ahead at this point and refrigerated. A few hours prior to grilling and serving, cut the artichokes in quarters, remove the fuzzy center and marinate with vinaigrette mix of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, kosher salt and pepper. Heat a large grill pan, drain artichokes from marinade, place artichokes cut side down and grill until nice grill markets appear, turn and grill other side. Plate and serve with a butter sauce or the following Sun Dried Tomato Dip:
Sun Dried Tomato Dip: Combine 6 large sun dried tomatoes, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons chopped onion and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil in a blender. Begin to blend and slowly add in ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil, until combined well, add Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Can be made one day ahead, refrigerate and bring to room temperature to serve.
Seriously, I could eat this platter all on my own!
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.