No joke, I searched high and low for these baby artichokes for three weeks before I finally found them.
Prior to my search, I had seen tables of them piled high at the farmers market, but didn’t purchase any, always putting it off for another week. Then, when they finally made it onto my weekly menu, they were nowhere to be found! I put them on the household menu for the following three weeks, hoping to find some of this suddenly elusive vegetable, but failing.
As soon as I’d finally given up, I had a stroke of luck. There they were again, a whole table just full of them. I couldn’t believe it!
I bought a few pounds of them right then and there, and it was a good thing I did. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are a fleeting indulgence, and I hope you remember this lesson when you’re shopping for local produce!
If you’re not sure what to do with these delicious veggies, I’ve got you covered: These Balsamic Marinated Grilled Baby Artichokes are to die for.
Turning the fresh vegetables that I purchased into the delicious finished product is actually pretty darn easy. Just cut your baby artichokes in half, then toss them with a balsamic marinade. There’s no need to remove the sharp leaf tips or irritating choke at the center, because they haven’t formed yet. Prep is so simple!
You let them marinate for about an hour, then pop ’em on the grill for about 7 minutes per side. Keep a close eye on these, though – you don’t want them to burn. AJ may have had a little incident when he was distracted with some of his other cooking duties, so you might notice that he burned some of these. But they were still delicious.
Before you know it, they’re ready to eat. Totally easy enough for a weeknight, if you ask me. But fancy enough for a barbecue or summertime celebration as well.
Eating these is similar to eating a regular artichoke, but they’re small and tender, just a few bites each. Instead of taking off individual leaves and eating the bottom portion of the leaf and the heart at the base, instead you can eat the whole bottom portion. Bite down about halfway up the vegetable, and pull the tough upper leaves away like you normally would.Print
The ultimate summer food for vegetarians and veggie lovers, grilled baby artichokes with balsamic vinegar are sweet, tangy, and smoky.
- Combine the olive oil, balsamic, mustard, and salt. Shake or stir to combine.
- Cut the artichokes in half vertically through the stem, and place in a gallon zip-top bag. Add the balsamic mixture, press most of the air out the the bag, and seal. Toss to distribute the dressing evenly. Let marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Heat the grill to medium-high. Place the artichokes cut side up and cook until lightly charred, about 7 minutes. Flip and cook until the underside is lightly charred, another 7 minutes or so.
- To eat, peel the bottommost leaves off the outside of an artichoke half, then bite off the entire bottom portion. You’ll be left with the tougher, fibrous tops, which can be discarded. This is a messy dish – have napkins close at hand!
Grilled Vegetables Mean Summer Is Here
The balsamic marinade gives these a sweet, tangy flavor that is SO GOOD. Paired with the smokiness from the charcoal grill, these have a super complex, ultra-deluxe flavor that I would eat any day.
I paired these balsamic grilled artichokes with some warm brown rice and a sprinkling of feta cheese and fresh thyme. The cheese is definitely not necessary, but if you have never tried brown rice and feta together, I’d highly recommend giving it a go – it’s really delicious. They’d also be wonderful served atop a green salad, or alongside your favorite grilled protein.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy artichokes when they’re in season? Share your suggestions in the comments, and leave this recipe a rating while you’re there. This helps other readers to know know how much you enjoyed it!
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Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on July 9th, 2015. Last updated: May 29, 2018 at 17:32 pm.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Raquel Smith
Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now being merged into Foodal).