Friday, May 6, 2011
Grilled Spring Veggies
As soon as the weather starts to warm up Alfred goes grilling crazy. As long as it's not raining, most everything we cook from May to October we cook on the grill. Fish, chicken, lots and lots of veggies, even pizza, and fruit for dessert. Right now, spring veggies are ideal candidates for grilling, and recently we cooked two veggies on the grill that turned out particularly well: Artichokes and Vidallia Onions.
We had actually never cooked artichokes (either on or off the grill) - something about their spiny leaves always intimated us. Preparing them and eating them took a bit of effort, but it was well worth it, because they tasted great! We'll certainly be grilling them again soon.
On the other hand, onions are one of our favorite veggies - grilled, raw, sauteed, caramelized, pickled - we eat them with nearly every meal (we go through about 5 pounds of onions a week)! But, this week we grilled them in a slightly different way than we have in the past. Inspired by king of the grill Steven Raichlen, we made onion lollipops - we loved them so much we made them 3 times this week. They are also super easy to prepare!
Grilled Artichokes: (Serves 2 as an appetizer or side)
2 Large Artichokes
1 Lemon, zested and juices
1 Handful of Flat Leaf Parsley, minced
2 Large Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1) Fill a pot large enough to hold the artichokes half way full of water, add half of the lemon juice.
2) Cut the top third of the artichoke off, discard. Trim the pointy tips of the remaining outer leaves (scissors or kitchen shears are handy here), and use a vegetable peeler to peel the stems. Cut the artichokes in half, and remove the purple and fuzzy parts. Place them in the lemon water as soon as your done with each one to prevent them from browning.
3) Bring the artichokes and lemon water to a boil, cook for 10-15 minutes until the stem is tender - use the tip of a pairing knife to check. Drain.
4) Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the remaining lemon juice, the lemon zest, parsley, garlic, olive oil, and sea salt. Add the artichokes to the bowl and coat them thoroughly with the dressing. Let marinate at least 30 minutes.
5) Grill the artichokes over medium heat for about 5 minutes per side, until they are slightly charred.
*In case you are a newbie to eating whole artichokes: You can eat all of the stem, the meaty portion above it (the heart), and the inner leaves. The tougher outer leaves are a bit trickier - you will need use your bottom teeth to scrape out the layer of soft flesh in each one.
Vidallia Onion Lollipops (Serves 2 as a side):
1 Large Vidallia Onion
Fresh or Dried Herbs (Basil, Oregano, Marjoram, etc)
1) Peel the onion, and cut it into 1/2 inch thick slices - keep the layers together.
2) Insert the pointy end of a bamboo skewer into the side of each onion slice, work slowly and push the skewer through each layer stopping when you get to the last layer - so that you end up with what looks like a lollipop!
3) Brush each lollipop with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and herbs.
4) Grill the onions over medium heat for about 5 minutes per side. It works best if you place the onions on the grill so that the end of the skewer is hanging in the air - that way the skewers won't burn, and you can use them to turn the onions over!
*These taste great on their own, or tossed with a bit balsamic vinaigrette post-grilling.
Happy Grilling Season Everyone!
P.S. Alfred is heading out to grill some asparagus and green onions as I type! My mouth is already watering :)
As usual, I've included this post as part of several weekly recipe sharing events: Making Monday Marvelous, Just Something I Whipped Up, Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays , My Meatless Mondays, Just Another Meatless Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays , Tuesdays at the Table, Real Food Wednesdays, Whatcha Makin' Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursday, Friday Foodie, Friday Favorites, Foodie Friday, Funky Fresh Friday, and Nifty Thrifty Sunday.Check out all the great recipes other bloggers have contributed!