Wednesday, May 23, 2012

All About Artichokes

Be forewarned, gratuitous concentration on a single ingredient ahead. With warmer temps finally here, my grill calls daily. It's such a nice way to enjoy the outdoors and spend time with the husband. 

I made a marinade in the morning, but other than that the prep was minimal. This was time for to let the ingredients shine. Enter purple asparagus and fresh artichokes. The purple tones called from the grocery aisle; the deep violets were irresistible. 

The spin-y thistles are notoriously intimidating. Scales and spikes. Food dinosaurs.

Bon courage... seize the artichoke day... you can do it! Sever the stem with gusto and reveal its painterly insides. Plum brush strokes draw you in and you realize this will be worth the extra effort. Marvel at the color and pause to appreciate the geometry.

Halve and re-affirm yourself that it is only thistle. Use your spoon to clean out the fibrous pith. Remove the spikiest outer leaves.

Before you grill brush with olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar. Wrap in foil and grill over indirect heat.

I enjoyed with grilled purple asparagus and lemon chicken. But really... who even pays attention to the rest when there are artichokes to be had?

Grilled Artichokes, Chicken and Asparagus
3-4 chicken breasts
Juice of one lemon
Herbs de Provence
1 bunch asparagus
4 artichokes
Olive oil 
Balsamic vinegar

Marinate chicken breasts for several hours in lemon juice, olive oil and herbs. Prepare artichokes by removing stem, outermost leaves and choke. Lightly coat artichokes in olive oil, vinegar and S&P; wrap in foil. Do the same to your asparagus. 

Grill artichokes over high, indirect heat for about 30-45 minutes. With 20 minutes remaining, add your chicken and asparagus in the last 8 minutes. 

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