Balsamic Grilled Artichoke
Grilling adds color and a savory smoked flavor to vegetables. The artichoke, however, is not actually a vegetable. Still, it lends itself well to open flame cooking. And the rich, vaguely sweet taste of balsamic vinegar has a way of bringing out the artichoke's subtle flavor.
One-half artichoke per person
Wash artichokes under cold running water. Cut off base and remove smallest outer leaves. Cut about an inch off the top and rub trimmed area with lemon juice to preserve color. Steam in a vegetable steamer for approximately 30-40 minutes. If you do not have a steamer, place artichokes in a steaming insert or basket in a pot deep enough to keep them above water. Check water halfway through cooking to make sure it has not all evaporated. Remove artichokes when the base is soft and inside leaves can be pulled out easily. Rinse with cool water immediately and drain.
Cut each artichoke in half and remove center portion. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and place on the grill flat-side down. Grill (or cook in a pan over high heat) for three minutes on each side, or until you see nice grill marks. Remove and drizzle more balsamic for presentation.
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