Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baby Artichokes

Just look at them... aren't they the cutest?  Who could resist these little guys?  Baby artichokes!  I have never used them in anything before.  I mean seriously who was the first person to look at an artichoke and think, "say, I'll bet if I peeled about four layers of leaves off of those, then cut them in half, pulled the chokey thing out of the middle and steamed them for 20 minutes they might taste good coated in a Caper Sauce."  That being said I do like artichokes with a nice tart sauce but the process is extreme for a side dish.  Take it for what it is, my Salmon was much simpler... Step 1 remove from refrigerator. Step 2 put on grill... so I had some balance.

The Artichokes were a few steps to get done working with 1 artichoke at a time, pull back outer leaves until they come off close to base discard do this with about 3-4 layers of leaves until exposed leaves are pale green at top and pale yellow at bottom. Cut about a half an inch off the top and trim the bottom into a bit of a cone shape, then halve artichoke lengthwise. Remove fuzzy center and any pointed inner leaves. Put in a bowl of lemon water to keep it from browning.

Once they are all trimmed boil in water with salt and lemon juice for about 20 minutes when fork tender remove with a slotted spoon and soak in ice water until ready to grill.  This can be made a day ahead if you like.

The Sauce
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp of anchovy paste (or about 4 anchovy chopped up)
2 1/2 tablespoons drained capers, rinsed and finely chopped
1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Warm sauce in a small pan then set aside until ready to serve.

Cook Artichoke halves on a grill, mine was the cast iron stove top kind, winter came pretty fast and I am not ready to use the gas grill yet.  I did them for about 4-5 minutes on a side while I grilled the salmon.   When it was all done I poured the sauce on the Salmon and Artichokes.


  1. I always get the jarred or frozen artichokes, so I never have to go through this... but I may pick some fresh ones up soon just to compare the tastes!

  2. You can come cook artichokes for me any time. I'm a little afraid of them--but I do love to eat them!

  3. Hi Bryan - Love this idea. I am a huge artichoke fan but seem to just end up steaming. I am going for the grill next time. cheers!

  4. We adore eating artichokes, but I've yet to work with the baby ones. I love what you did here, and I'm sure that sauce was perfect! Bring on the capers. Thank you so much for sharing, Bryan. Always a pleasure!