These grilled baby artichokes are topped with a tasty dipping sauce and then drizzled with balsamic glaze for the perfect spring side dish!
I grew up in California eating artichokes and they have always been one of my favorites veggies. Yes, there is actually a vegetable I like, well actually LOVE! Most people steam artichokes, which is the easiest way to make them. Then you eat the leaves and heart, usually dipping them in some type of sauce. Traditionally that sauce is melted butter, however, my mom always served them with mayonnaise (Hellman’s of course) so that’s the way I always ate them.
When I started making artichokes for myself, for a long time I stuck with the mayo for sauce, adding some Dijon and cracked pepper for a bit of extra taste. Eventually, I started experimenting with other combos for the sauce. Finding a great artichoke dipping sauce is the key to really enjoying artichokes. The sauce used with these artichokes is my new favorite dipping sauce. It's great on artichokes but it also works for all kinds of other veggies too!
The key to grilling artichokes is to steam or boil them first, so they are partially cooked when you put them on the grill. If you skip this step, you'll end up with very burnt artichokes before they are tender enough to eat!
For the balsamic glaze, I use a pre-made version that I get from Eataly. I find that easier than making a balsamic reduction, which takes a lot of time and uses a lot of balsamic. I also like to have it on hand for topping veggies, salads and other dishes, so I find the pre-made to be more practical. You can use any type you like, though the higher end glazes, just like higher end balsamics, will have a better taste. You can find some type of balsamic glaze in most larger grocery stores. Just like balsamic vinegar, there is a pretty wide price range for a balsamic glaze, so do a little taste testing and find one you like that fits your budget. Enjoy!
Grilled Baby Artichokes with Balsamic Glaze
- 4 baby artichokes
- juice of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 whole bay leaf
- ¼ teaspoon whole peppercorns
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- pinch of salt
For the dipping sauce:
- ¼ cup creme fraiche
- 2 tablespoons mascarpone
- 1 teaspoon honey
- dash of ground pepper
- pinch of ground cumin
- 2-3 tablespoons of balsamic glaze
- Using a sharp knife, remove stems from artichokes and cut in half lengthwise. Squeeze the from half of the lemon over the cut artichokes.
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the peppercorns, bay leaf and artichokes. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove artichokes from pan and pat dry.
- While the artichokes are boiling pre-heat a gas grill to medium heat. In a small bowl mix olive oil and juice from the other half of the lemon. Brush artichokes with the mixture. Place on grill cut side down and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Turn artichokes over and grill for an additional 5 to 6 minutes until tender. Remove from the grill and place on a serving dish. Season with salt and pepper.
- While the artichokes are grilling, mix the creme fraiche, mascarpone, honey, pepper and cumin in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- When ready to serve drizzle about ⅓ of the creme fraiche mixture on the artichokes, reserving the rest for dipping. Drizzle the balsamic glaze over the artichokes and serve immediately.