Grilled Baby Artichokes with Tomato Basil Salsa

I struck gold when I came across a huge pile of baby artichokes at my Italian market this Saturday and they were even on sale, I couldn’t wait to get them home and put them on my grill!

Baby artichokes are easy to prep and great for grilling, they’re the perfect light appetizer for a hot and sticky day. The most important thing is to precook them in boiling water or steam them first until tender, you don’t want to just toss them on the grill before cooking they’ll be very tough, burnt and unappetizing and they’ll never get tender.

The grill adds a nice smoky flavor that enhances the taste and the tomato basil salsa gives you a fresh and summery dipping sauce, guilt free nice and light and perfect served at room temperature.

Here’s what you do:
Slice tops off artichokes, pull off leaves until you see pale green, trim stems, and snip off thorny tips. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt, the juice of 1 lemon, garlic cloves and artichokes; cover and steam until artichoke bottoms pierce easily, 20 to 40 minutes. Drain artichokes.
When cool enough to handle, cut each artichoke in half lengthwise and scrape out the fuzzy center, sometimes you don’t even have to with the babies. In a bowl, combine crushed garlic, olive oil, you could also add balsamic vinegar if you want, and salt and pepper. Toss your artichokes in the mixture and place cut side down on a grill over medium heat, don’t move them until you see nice grill marks, then turn on the other side until lightly browned.
Tomato Basil Salsa
Chopped tomatoes
Fresh basil
Chopped scallions
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper

Place the arichokes cut side up on a big platter and spoon the salsa all over. Now go ahead and make these before summers bounty is all over!
Buon Appetito