A gently steamed artichoke leaf dipped in melted butter is exquisite, but grilled baby artichokes only improve on a good thing. Don’t worry if they are on the grill for what seems like too long. They need time to properly cook. Once you strip away the burnt outer leaves, you’ll find a fork-tender center. Grill artichoke halves on the grill rack or thread them onto skewers for easy turning.
Grilled Baby Artichokes with Spicy Garlic Butter
4 Tbs. (2 oz./60 g.) unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes, or more to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper
20 baby artichokes, about 1 lb. (500 g.) total
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct-heat grilling over medium heat. Oil the grill rack. The artichokes can be grilled on skewers. If using wooden skewers, soak in water for at least 30 minutes.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and 1 or 2 dashes of hot-pepper sauce, and stir to mix. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and keep the mixture warm.
Hit each artichoke on a countertop a couple of times; this will loosen the outer leaves and let the butter mixture penetrate. Cut the artichokes in half lengthwise and trim the stems. Using a small spoon, scoop out the hairy chokes. Slide the artichoke halves onto the skewers, if using, with the cut sides facing the same way.
Place the artichokes, cut sides down, on the grill rack and cook for about 5 minutes. Brush with the butter mixture and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn the artichokes, brush the cut sides with the butter mixture, and continue cooking, turning and brushing with the butter mixture about every 5 minutes, for 20-25 minutes longer, taking care not to burn the artichokes. The artichokes are done when the middle of the cut side gives easily.
Transfer the artichokes to a platter, pour any remaining butter mixture over them, and serve. Serves 4-6.
Find more seasonal, vegetable-focused dishes in our new cookbook Vegetable of the Day, by Kate McMillan.