Grilled Artichokes with a Creamy Champagne Vinaigrette

I got hooked into Food Network television today… Giada De Laurentiis captured my attention as she sliced open some lemons, tossed them in a pot of boiling water, added some artechoke quarters and then proceded to make a delicious looking bowl of dipping sauce made out of champagne vinaigrette!  I couldnt take my eyes off her!  She’s georgous to begin with, but when she brought out the long fancy bottle and popped the top off I was sold.

Thankfully I have a very willing husband who volunteered to go to the grocery store for me since he already needed to go out and get a new bottle of propane for the BBQ for our planned burger dinner that night. Yay for great husbands!!

I was impressed with the fact that unlike most “new” recipes I pull off of Food Network or other cooking websites, this one needed very minimal ingredients… and they were mostly items I would already have on hand in my refrigerator or could get from a local farmer’s market. I was twitterpated by a recipe…so even though I was missing a couple of the items I anxiously awaited my husband’s return from the store so I could get started!

What you will need:

Artichokes:
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large lemons, quartered
3 large (1 pound) artichokes
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

For the artichokes: In an 8-quart saucepan, bring 8 cups water to a boil over medium-high heat. Juice the lemons into the water and add the squeezed lemon shells. Using kitchen scissors (I just used my knife…I’m not one of those cool people that has scissors specially dedicated to being used in the kitchen), remove the thorns from the tips of the artichoke leaves. Cut the artichoke stems to 1/2-inch long. Cut each artichoke into 8 wedges and, using a paring knife, remove the fuzzy choke. Place the artichokes in the pan and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and steam until the artichoke hearts are tender, about 20 minutes. Using tongs, remove the artichokes and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Put grill on medium-high heat. Drizzle  both sides of the artichokes with olive oil and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle with the chopped garlic and rosemary. Grill, cut-side-down, until lightly charred, 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Set aside to cool slightly.

For the vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise (the original recipe called creme fraiche, I had no idea what this was but already had mayo in the fridge and found it worked just as well, but from what I read creme fraiche is a healthier option), olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper until smooth.

Arrange the artichokes on a platter and serve the vinaigrette alongside as a dipping sauce.

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