As a blogger I kind of feel guilty posting recipes that I’ve only tried once; my reputation is supposedly “food expert” but how can one be an expert in a food one has only attempted once? But, I also hate repeating recipes due to my easily bored palate. As it is I can hardly deal with even eating leftovers from the day before.
They either make their way into Dave’s belly or they inevitably get tossed.
So what’s a girl to do?!
Thus, it is confession time- I have never actually dealt with raw artichokes before I attempted this recipe. So rather than this being considered an “expert tutorial” lets all call a spade a spade and say this is a photo documented first attempt. But, unlike my norm of easy boredom in the kitchen and flavor department, after this culinary experiment, I plan to come back to this method time and time again.
These grilled artichokes with sumac dressing were spot on.
Artichokes do have a specific method that need to be followed when preparing them. But it’s really not that difficult once you get the trick.
And the reward is so well worth the effort.
The first step is to use a kitchen shears to chop off the tops of the leaves, especially if they are thorny. Really, no one deserves a thorn in their tongue in the name of gourmet cooking, agreed?
Next, I used a vegetable peeler to remove the bitter outer layer of the stem.
(And then chopped off the bottom part of the stem).
Finally, I chopped off the top1/3 of the artichoke, “the crown” as I like to call it, which is basically just a bunch of fibrous spiny leaf tips. Cut it in half and toss it in a pot of lemon water to clean them and prevent browning.
Boil the artichokes, per instructions, and then you want to make sure you remove the inner “choke.” I apologize that I didn’t get a photograph of this, but you’ll know it when you see it. It’s the fuzzy white part on the inside of the artichoke that attaches to the heart. You can just scrape it out with a spoon after the artichokes are cooked. Finally, I popped the artichokes on a grill pan for about 10 minutes to get beautiful char and smoky flavor.
And whisked together one of my favorite salad dressings of all time- Middle Eastern Sumac Dressing. It’s the standard dressing that goes on Fattoush salad, for reference. The sumac is tangy, citrusy, and bright. It’s the perfect accompaniment for this glorious delicacy of summer.
If you’re in the market for sumac, it sounds exotic, but it’s pretty widely available these days. I’ve seen it at most of my standard go-to grocery stores (Ralphs and Sprouts), and they also sell it at Whole Foods. If you can’t locate it locally, it is available to be ordered off I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did!
Grilled Artichokes with Sumac Dressing
_For the Artichokes_
- 4 artichokes
- Olive oil for brushing
- 1 lemon
_For the dressing_
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 3 teaspoons sumac
- 2 teaspoons warm water
- ½ teaspoon dried mint
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoons honey
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt to taste.
- Chopped parsley for garnish.
- Prep a large bowl with cold water and squeeze the juice of one lemon into the water. Set aside.
- Prepare the artichokes by cutting off the tips/thorns, peeling the stem, slicing the stem, and slicing off the top 1/3 of the artichoke. (see visual)
- Slice in half and toss the halves into the bowl of lemon water.
- Repeat for the remaining artichokes.
- Next, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add the raw artichokes and boil for 15 minutes or until the flesh is easily pierced with a knife.
- Drain and allow to cool until you can handle them with your hands.
- Spoon out and discard the furry "choke" from the inside of the artichoke, taking care not to disrupt the heart of the artichoke.
- Next, preheat a grill pan to medium-high heat. Brush the pan and the artichokes with olive oil, and sear the artichokes for about 10 minutes, or until nicely charred. No need to flip the artichokes.
- Meanwhile prepare the dressing. In a mixing bowl, soak the sumac with 2 teaspoons of warm water for about 5 minutes, or until plumped.
- To this, add the remaining ingredients- garlic, mint, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, honey, and olive oil.
- Whisk to combine and add salt, to taste.
- When artichokes have finished, drizzle with the dressing, allowing it to puddle in the center of each artichoke.
- Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.
- Serve immediately.