Grilled Artichokes with Basil Dip
Grilling these marinated artichokes gives them a wonderful smoked flavor. Simple to prepare, this is a great dish for entertaining, as it is mostly made ahead and can be served at room temperature. Its also elegant enough to open a romantic dinner Ã deux. Using vegan mayonnaise, the Basil Dip, which is based on vegan mayonnaise, is excellent with other vegetables as well.
- 4 medium artichokes
- 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh tarragon
- Juice of ½ lemon
- ½ tsp. salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, cut lengthwise into 8 wedges, for garnish
- Basil Dip (recipe follows)
- 4 strips roasted red pepper, optional
- To prepare artichokes: Using fingers, pull off tough outer leaves just above stem. Trim and peel stem; pare off tough outer part with knife. Using scissors, snip off thorny tips of individual leaves. To trim top, place artichoke on cutting board and use large knife to cut off cluster of small leaves at tip.
- Cook artichokes in large pot of boiling water until knife inserted in base just above stem still meets some resistance, about 15 minutes. (Do not worry about the artichokes floating as they cook.) Using tongs, transfer artichokes to colander, stem up, and drain well. When artichokes are cool enough to handle, using large, sharp knife, cut each artichoke in half lengthwise. Using a teaspoon, scoop out the fluffy choke, leaving a teardrop-shaped cavity in the center of the artichoke.
- Place tarragon, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add oil and shake the bag gently to blend. Pack the artichokes into bag. Seal bag and gently massage artichokes to coat them with marinade. Place bag on a plate. Refrigerate 24 hours, turning bag 3 to 4 times.
- Heat gas or charcoal grill—or ridged cast-iron griddle or skillet—until very hot. Using tongs, arrange artichokes, cut side down, on hot surface. Cook until grill marks appear, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook until grill marks appear on other side, about 2 minutes. Transfer to four serving plates.
- Serve with lemon wedges and Basil Dip. If desired, garnish dip with strips of roasted red pepper. Grilled artichokes can be kept, covered, at room temperature, up to 4 hours before serving.
Makes 1/2 cup 30 minutes or fewer
- 1/2 cup prepared tofu “mayonnaise”
- 10 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Combine all ingredients in food processor. Process until dip is smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl, 2 to 3 minutes. Dip will keep 2 to 3 days, tightly covered, in the refrigerator.