grill-roasted artichoke leaves

serves 4

This is a low-stress factor dish, and more a suggestion than a recipe. Go light on the olive oil, but feel free to be liberal with the butter—it creates a velvety au jus, perfect for dipping the leaves and some crusty pieces of bread. Add salt and and pepper to taste, and if you like a clove or two of garlic would infuse some nice flavor too.

One last note—my directions are for making these packets on the grill, but I bet you can easily roast them in the oven too. If you decide to do so, please leave a comment so we can all learn from your cooking prowess—thanks!

Okay, one last p.s—this recipe only looks long. I promise it’s much quicker once you get to heart of it. Get it, heart—artichoke hearts. Don’t feel obligated to laugh—the Mr. says I have the sense of humor of a three year old.

1 whole lemon, cut in half

3 artichokes

Extra virgin olive oil

Butter, cut into small pieces

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heavy-duty aluminum foil

Preheat a gas grill, covered, with all the burners on medium-high.

To prep the artichokes, fill a deep bowl with cold water. Squeeze the lemon into the bowl.

Using a pair of kitchen scissors, cut off the tip of each leaf to remove the pointy thorns—throw these tips away. You can now slip you thumb under each leaf and snap it off—try to do this as close to the root as possible to save as much of the “meat” on the leaf as possible. The leaves will be easier to remove, practically slipping off as you get closer to the center.

You can now clean the hearts as Melissa shows in her video. I’m partial to my recipe for crispy brown butter artichoke hearts for cooking them up.

Now that you have a pile of ready-to-cook artichoke leaves, it’s time to make foil packets to cook them in. Lay two 12-inch by 16-inch sheets of foil flat on a counter or table. Place half of the leaves in the center of each piece of foil. Drizzle with olive oil, dot with bits of butter and season with salt and pepper. Bring the long ends of the foil together and fold down, as if wrapping a gift. Roll each end of the packet up so the oil and butter, once melted, doesn’t drip out.

If your grill has three burners, turn the middle one off. If it only has two, then turn off one of them. Place the packets directly onto the center of grill, or the side where the burner is turned off. Cover the grill and let cook 20 minutes, until the leaves are tender. Open the packets, and pour the leaves with their juices into a deep bowl or platter. Serve immediately.