Grilled artichoke stems with tarragon garlic butter, a edible extension of the heart

Spring Fling is here and were celebrating Spring’s bounty with Deb, Editor of Food Network, Margaret of Away to Garden, Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen and Nicole of Pinch My Salt.

This week’s theme is artichoke and to participate, just share your artichoke recipe link in our blog on the comments below, as well as the blogs of all our participating friends!

Yesterdays trip to our local farm stand was better than we ever expected. They always have the most beautiful field of artichokes growing and when the artichokes go to flower, a sea of purple buds decorate the normally stark field lying alongside the major freeway.

We were fortunate that they still had beautiful, tender artichokes for sale. At a whopping 75 cents a head, these farm fresh artichokes were the best deal in town. It’s times like these that we can afford to eat artichokes till we drop!

Earlier that morning, the farmers kept the long stems on the artichokes and they were gorgeous displays in the corner of the stand. It was hard to decide if the artichokes should be cooked or be left as a floral decoration. The farm-stand lady grabbed the artichokes we requested and told us to eat the stems because they’re edible extensions of the heart.

We were amazed and enlightened to hear such information! eat the artichoke stem? they’re tender extensions of the heart? that makes total sense! how do you prepare them? After showering her with a series of curious artichoke stem questions, she was equally enthusiastic to share how she prepares her stems.

With a quick little tutorial from the stand-lady, we so excited to be buying artichokes with the long stems and to cook with them! The stems on the artichokes were perfect tender specimens to be extensions of the heart.

Depending on how young the artichokes are, you may or not want to peel the artichoke stems. It isn’t always necessary, but with slightly older stems, peeling makes them a little better.

For grilling artichokes, unless they are super tender, we will boil them first and then grill them just to slightly char and add a nice smokey flavor. In between boiling and grilling, the ‘chokes and stems will get marinated, then that marinade is later used as part of the garlic butter. No waste, all delicious flavor!

More artichoke recipes from our Spring Fling friends:

Grilled Artichokes and Stems with Garlic Tarragon Butter

Yield: Serves 6.

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

The quality of the artichokes you are able to get will vary time it takes to cook them. Older artichokes are usually tougher and require longer cook times. Cook by feel and testing, rather than times. For this recipe, first you boil them to mostly cook the artichokes, then marinate them, then finish by grilling to give them an extra special "smokey" quality. When boiling, you'll want the artichokes nearly all the way cooked, as they won't cook much more on the grill.  The step is more for the smokey flavor. If you can find artichokes with the stems still attached, cook the stem up too. It is like a extension of the heart.

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium Artichokes with Stems
  • 4 T Sea Salt (for boiling water)
  • 2 small Lemons
  • 3/4 c Olive Oil
  • 1/4 c preferred Vinegar (we'll mostly use Rice Wine Vinegar, but any vinegar will work)
  • 3 T crushed Garlic, divided
  • 1/2 c (1 stick) cold, unsalted Butter, cut into 1/2" chunks
  • 2 t Sea Salt, for sauce
  • 2 T fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 T minced Fresh Tarragon
  • fresh cracked Black Pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Bring a large stock pot 3/4 filled with water to a boil. While the water heats, trim the artichokes. Cut off the stems, and cut them into manageable lengths (usually in half). Peel the outer layer of the stems and rub with half of a lemon. Trim the top third off of the artichokes, then trim the tips of the remaining leaves.
  2. Slice the remaining 1 1/4 lemons into large wedges and put in the boiling water. Add the 4 T of sea salt to the water, then add the artichokes and stems. Place a few layers of paper towels over the artichokes to weigh them down, sinking them deeper in the water. Boil for 20-30 minutes or until the heart is tender when pierced and an outer leaf pulls off easily and the meat is tender.
  3. Drain and allow to cool upside down in a colander until easy to handle. Slice stems in half. Cut artichokes in half and remove choke with a small spoon.
  4. Combine olive oil, vinegar, and 1 T of garlic in a plastic bag large enough to marinate the artichokes and stems. Add artichokes and stems to the marinate, toss to coat, and allow to marinate 30 minutes to an hour.
  5. Heat a grill set up for direct heat. Remove artichokes and stems from marinade (reserving the marinade to make sauce) and grill artichokes and stems until lightly charred, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add remaining marinade to a sauce pan and heat over medium heat.  Add remaining 2 T of garlic and cook until garlic is soft (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat. Whisk in butter chunks until completely melted. Add sea salt, lemon juice, tarragon, and black pepper, whisking to combine. Serve immediately with grill artichokes and stems.
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

Hello! All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use our images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you. And remember in making the recipes, if using table salt instead of kosher or sea salt, make sure you reduce the salt amount.