The Vulcan VTEC infrared charbroiler is the ideal cooking platform for this recipe. On a traditional charbroiler, the oil based marinade drips off the artichoke and on to the gas flame below, creating flare-ups, which result in over-browning and a highly unpleasant “gassy” flavor. The VTEC generates heat from emitter panels which are set beneath the grates and above the flame, preventing any chance for flare-ups. As the marinade drips on to the emitter panel, it is immediately incinerated, creating a smoky vapor which penetrates the interior of the artichoke and imparting a wonderful smoky flavor throughout the whole artichoke.
- 2 long stem artichokes*
- 2 lemons
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 T. balsamic vinegar
- ¼ t. kosher salt
- ¼ t. black pepper
- 1/8 t. red pepper flakes
- ¼ t. dried basil
- 2/3 cup Veganaise*
- 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 11/2 T. lemon juice
- 1 T. crushed garlic
- 2 t. Dijon mustard
- 2 t. minced Italian parsley
- ½ t. kosher salt
- ¼ t. black pepper
- Oil and vinegar in a squeeze bottle with some salt and pepper
Break off the artichokes small outer leaves. Trim about 1 to 1 ½” of the stem so that both artichokes will fit into a large pot. Place artichokes in your pot and fill with cold water. Slice the lemons in half, juice them in to the pot then drop the lemon halves in to the pot, along with the bay leaf. Place a small plate over the top of the artichokes in order to keep them submerged. Bring your mixture to a boil and cook for 30 minutes.
While artichokes are cooking, make your aioli by combining all the aioli ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Taste and adjust to your preference. Cover and chill your aioli.
Pre-heat your Vulcan charbroiler to medium high. Drain the artichokes and then shock them in an ice bath to stop them from cooking. After 10 minutes, drain artichokes in a colander with stems pointing upward, for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice Artichokes in half and remove the choke with a spoon.
Using a vegetable peeler, peel off the rough layer of the stem. Place the artichokes in a large bowl and marinade with olive oil and balsamic vinegar then sprinkle with salt, pepper, dried basil and chili flakes. Marinade at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Place artichokes on hot grill face down. Grill for about 4 minutes then give your artichokes a
quarter turn on the grill and cook for an additional 4 minutes. Turn the artichokes over and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, giving the artichokes a quarter turn halfway through. You’ll know they are done when the outer leaves come off easily. Serve immediately with aioli.
* Note – Veganaise can be purchased at natural food stores (Mother’s, Whole Foods, i.e.). Long stem artichokes are currently available at Trader Joe’s. Recipe also works for regular artichokes as well.