Text and Image by Margie
A number of years ago Tom and I ordered some grilled artichokes at one of our favorite restaurants in the Napa Valley. No matter what else we order at the restaurant, we never fail to order their grilled artichoke. The restaurant gave us a general idea of the ingredients in the marinade, so after a few tries of our own, this is a close match.
- Marinade for 4 large artichokes
- 4 large artichokes
- 8 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup either canola oil or olive oil (we actually use a brand that has both of the two combined).
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- Mix together above marinade ingredients and set aside.
- In a bowl that is large enough to hold all of the artichokes, fill with cold water and squeeze a lemon or two into water. ( The lemon water will help keep the cut areas from turning brown).
- Clean each artichoke. (I really rinse down between the larger leaves to make sure there are no bugs, etc.)
- Snip off sharp thorns from all leaves , cut about an inch or so off the top and cut off stem. (I use kitchen shears to snip off thorns from bottom leaves and cut top off with a sharp knife.)
- Put a whole peeled garlic clove in between one of the leaves of each artichoke, then put artichokes in a large enough pot to hold all of the artichokes.
- Add water over artichokes until it is about two inches shy of covering the artichokes. Squeeze in the juice of one lemon.
- Bring to a simmer, cover and cook the artichokes until the outer leaves pull out easily. This takes approximately 30 minutes 1.to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the artichokes. (I also check the bottom with the tip of a sharp knife to make sure they are just tender, but not mushy and overcooked. (They will be marinated and grilled for 8 to 10 minutes after precooking in the water.)
- When cooked, remove from water and allow to drain bottoms up.
- Cut each artichoke in half from top to bottom.
- Clean out the “choke” (the fuzzy part) completely exposing the “heart” of the artichoke.
** Marinate artichokes at least one half-hour to 2 hours before grilling.
- On a baking sheet, lay each half of artichoke cut-side up.
- Stir marinade and spoon a few spoonfuls over artichokes, until all used. Let marinade for at least one half-hour to 2 hours.
1. Heat grill to medium-high heat.
2. Place each artichoke on grill over direct heat, cut- side up.
3. Grill for 8 to 10 minutes. (Grill on one side only, don’t turn them over.)
4. Remove artichokes from grill to plate, cut side up, and cover with foil for 10 minutes before serving.
Serve either warm or cold, with or without a dip.
I serve them with a sauce of aioli or plain mayonnaise.
Wine Pairing Tip: The artichoke is such a strange vegetable when it comes to wine pairing as it contains a chemical called cynarin, which is a substance that can alter the taste of a wine, making it taste unusually sweet or funky. Grilling artichokes will cut the Cynarin’s effect in half, making the pairings hold up better. When you grill the artichoke, both Merlot and Zinfandel will compliment the charred taste of the vegetable.
Markham Vineyards Merlot 2012
Plum and blackberry flavors with a dark ruby color. Dark fruit aromas, velvety tannins and a medium body. Markham Vineyard Merlots are usually a very consistent wine at a reasonable price.