Technically a flower that has not yet bloomed, the artichoke hosts an edible interior that boasts a high number of essential vitamins and minerals and make for a tender treat. But how in the world do you pick the perfect artichoke? Veer your eyes away from those whose leaves are spread apart and find those whose leaves are tightly closed and snug. Once you’ve picked your perfect artichokes, it’s time to let the games begin and grill up our favorite finger food.
4 snug artichokes
Fill a large stock pot ¾ full of water, salt heavily, and bring to a boil.
First, trim the artichokes. Because artichokes oxidize quickly, rub each freshly trimmed surface of the artichoke with halved lemon for preservation. Using scissors, first trim off the prickly tips of the artichoke leaves. Next, slice off the very end of the stem and shave off the tough exterior. Using a very sharp knife, cut the artichoke in half running from the step to the tip of the artichoke.
Next, boil the artichokes: Place the artichokes into the pot of boiling water for 20 minutes. Strain, cool to touch, remove the hairy, inedible “choke” of artichoke, and place into the refrigerator to cool.
Aioli time! While the artichokes are cooling, it’s time to make the aioli. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, dried basil and garlic. Store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours until it’s time to eat.
Last but not least, generously brush the entire artichoke with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper and grill until crispy and tantalizing toasted (or about 5 minutes on each side).
Serve with aioli and mancia!