Spring is officially here which means we have busted out the grill! This month's vegetable is artichoke, and yes, we decided to grill it!
Artichokes always take me back to one of the first years Kevin and I were dating. He came with us to a family friends house for a fairly fancy dinner event and artichokes were on the menu. He had never eaten an artichoke before and proceeded to stick the whole leaf in his mouth. About 5 minutes later, I realized he was still chewing and was struggling to get the leaves down. I had to signal to him how to eat the properly eat the artichoke without brining too much attention to us and he had to figure out how to get rid of the leaves that he had been trying to eat for the last 5 minutes! We then had to fight the laughter- which I know you all know that feeling of trying not to laugh, so then you just laugh harder- yea... that was us. It still makes me laugh just thinking about it. All that to say... if you're eating artichoke for the first time- DO NOT EAT THE WHOLE LEAF! There is "meat" at the bottom of the leaf that you use your teeth to peel off. As you get to the center of the artichoke, you can peel away all the leaves and the fuzzy stuff and find the heart- which is my favorite part!
This vegetable is unique to say the least, but it does have many health benefits. Artichokes have been shown to help digestive tract irritation and aid in creating a healthy gut environment. They have been used to treat high cholesterol because they increase the production of bile which helps to decrease excess cholesterol. This bile production also aids in the health of your gut by improving gut flora and reducing inflammation and irritation of your digestive tract. They are also full of antioxidants which help all sorts of functions in your body.
Artichokes are also full of fiber, B12 and vitamin K. Overall, this vegetable is full of health benefits!
So, here is how we cooked them!
2 artichokes (one artichoke per person)
One pot full of boiling water
1-2 TBSP olive oil
Salt and pepper
1+ TBSP butter, melted
Chop the artichokes in half lengthwise
Boil in water for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the grill.
Drain water out of artichokes and mix in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper until well coated.
Place on grill for about 5-10 minutes, turning as needed.
Serve with melted butter to dip the leave in. Once you have peeled the "meat" off of the leaf, discard the leaf.
As you reach the center, peel off remaining leaves and wash the fuzzy part off. This will leave you with the heart. Dip in butter and enjoy!
We served ours with grilled pork chops, sweet potatoes and tomatoes.