• Grilled Artichokes With Basil Dip

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    • 4 med artichokes
    • 1 Tbsp. finely-minced fresh tarragon Juice of 1/2 lemon
    • 1/2 tsp salt Freshly-grnd black pepper to taste
    • 1/4 c. extra-virgin extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 x lemon cut lengthwise into 8 wedges for garnish Basil Dip (see recipe)
    • 4 x strips roasted red pepper (optional)


    1. To prepare artichokes: Using your fingers, pull off the tough outer leaves just above the stem. Trim and peel the stem; pare off the tough outer part with a knife. Using scissors, snip off the thorny tips of the individual leaves. To trim the top, place the artichoke on a cutting board and use a large knife to cut off the cluster of small leaves at the tip.
    2. Cook artichokes in large pot of boiling water till knife inserted into base just above stem still meets some resistance, about 15 min. (Don't worry about the artichokes floating as they cook.) Using tongs, transfer artichokes to colander, stem up, and drain well. When artichokes are cold sufficient to handle, using large, sharp knife, cut each artichoke in half lengthwise. Using a tsp., scoop out the fluffy choke, leaving a teardrop-shaped cavity in the center of the artichoke.
    3. Place tarragon, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add in oil and shake the bag gently to blend. Pack the artichokes into bag. Seal bag and gently massage artichokes to coat them with marinade. Place bag on a plate. Chill 24 hrs, turning bag 3 to 4 times.
    4. Heat gas or possibly charcoal grill - or possibly ridged cast-iron griddle or possibly skilletuuntil very warm. Using tongs, arrange artichokes, cut-side down, on warm surface. Cook till grill marks appear, about 2 min. Turn and cook till grill marks appear, about 2 min. Transfer to four serving plates.
    5. Serve with lemon wedges and Basil Dip. If you like, garnish dip with strips of roasted red pepper. Grilled artichokes can be kept, covered, at room temperature, up to 4 hrs before serving.
    6. This recipe yields 4 servings.
    7. NOTES : Grilling these marinated artichokes gives them a wonderful smoked flavor. Simple to prepare, this is a great dish for entertaining, as it is mostly made ahead and can be served at room temperature. It's also elegant sufficient to open a romantic dinner a deux.

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