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Grilled Bread and Artichokes With Dipping Oil

This artichoke appetizer serves the appetites of your more adventurous friends and family, as well as those who like to play it safe.

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Artichokes can be a little intimidating, but they are really simple to work with once you get your head around the basics. After steaming the artichokes, I like to finish them on the grill or sear at high heat to add some color and texture.

See more satisfying spring recipes for when you’re not sure what to cook.

Servings
8

Ingredients

  • 4 artichokes
  • half a lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1 baguette or any hearty bread (ciabatta works well)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • coarse salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan

Balsamic dipping oil

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • juice from half a lemon, plus additional to taste

Preparation

To Make the Artichokes

Remove the tough leaves near the stem of the artichoke. Use kitchen shears to cut off the tip of each leaf (about ½ inch), removing the tiny needle. Trim the base of each stem and any dark spots with a sharp knife. Fill a large stockpot three-quarters full of salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat and add artichokes along with the lemon wedges. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the bottom leaves pull off easily and the artichokes feel tender to the touch. Drain the artichokes and set them aside to cool slightly.

 

To Make the Breadsticks

Cut the bread into long “sticks” and lightly brush with olive oil. Place on the grill or under the broiler and turn after 2 minutes. Toast for 1–2 minutes more, or until golden brown. Sprinkle with a bit of coarse salt while the bread is still warm and set aside until the artichokes are ready to serve.

To Make the Dipping Oil

Mix together olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice. Taste and adjust with additional lemon juice, if desired. Set aside.

To Finish the Artichokes

Cut each one in half and scoop out the fibrous center, otherwise known as the choke. The rest of the stem and the base of each leaf are edible and delicious. Brush each artichoke half with olive oil and grill cut-side down just long enough to get nice char marks. (Alternatively, you can finish the artichokes on the stovetop in a large skillet over high heat.) Arrange the artichokes and bread sticks on a large platter, and finish with coarsely ground pepper, a sprinkle of Parmesan, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with the dipping oil.

Excerpted from Feed Zone Table: Family-Style Meals to Nourish Family and Sport by Biju Thomas and Allen Lim. Want more delicious recipes? Join Active Pass today!  As part of your membership perks, you can choose 2 books from Velo Press, including Feed Zone Table. You also gain access to more than 7,500 healthy recipes and 100+ meal plans from Clean Eating & Vegetarian Times.