Before I met my husband, my knowledge of artichokes was pretty small. What I thought were artichokes were just the hearts, jarred and marinated in oil. I don’t even remember seeing a fresh artichoke until one of my first visits to Colorado.
They were a staple in my husband’s home, served steamed with a dipping sauce of butter, lime and worcestershire sauce. I would watch in awe as his family devoured these strange looking vegetables, butter dripping off their chins.
As they finished the leaves and got closer to the heart, things got a little dicey. If you were sharing an artichoke, great care was taken to make sure each person got an equal share of the heart – the yummiest part. If you had your own and couldn’t finish it, your leftovers would be quickly taken by the first person to call “dibs.”
I loved it – eating artichokes was not only a side dish, but a family activity.
And then I tried the grilled artichoke at the Cherry Creek Grill in Denver. This sealed the deal for me with artichokes, and I was now a true fan. The restaurant steamed the artichoke, then sliced it in half, basted it with a garlicky oil and grilled it over an open flame. It was served with this creamy, tangy dipping sauce that was a perfect accent.
Since I don’t get out to restaurants much these days, I decided to try to recreate my favorite starter at home, with a few changes to make the process easier. Instead of steaming and grilling, I roast the artichokes in the oven using this method I found a few years ago. I love that the prep is simple and while the artichokes are in the oven, I can be doing other things. If you wanted to go the extra step, these could easily be sliced in half and grilled after roasting.
The remoulade is so tasty, it could be used for a variety of other things. Serve it with chicken, fish, shrimp or other roasted vegetables. I think it would make a great base for chicken salad, too.
- 4 whole artichokes, washed and dried
- 2 1/2 lemons, cut into halves
- 2 - 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 3 Tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
- 1 Tablespoon stone ground mustard
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- freshly ground pepper
- Optional: 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- Trim your artichoke by cutting about 1 1/2 inches off the top and cutting off the stem at the base of the artichoke. A serrated knife is most helpful for this. Trim any other pointy leaves with kitchen shears.
- Rub the cut parts of the artichoke with a half lemon to stop any discoloration.
- Lay out four large squares of aluminum foil (about 12" square).
- An optional step is to use a small square of parchment paper on top of each foil (see picture above). I've had the acid from the lemon break down the foil before, and this offers a protective layer.
- Place the artichokes on the foil sheets and sprinkle with the salt, using 1/8-1/4 teaspoon per artichoke.
- Drizzle the artichokes with the olive oil, about 1/2 - 1 tablespoon each, then squeeze a half of a lemon over each artichoke.
- Gather the four corners of the foil together and fold each seam over to create a seal with the foil.
- Place in an oven safe dish or pan and bake in the oven for around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Allow the artichokes to rest for about 20 minutes before unwrapping.
- Serve with remoulade for dipping.
- In a small bowl, mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.