There's no doubt about it-grilling has become a year 'round cooking method. And vegetables on the grill are more and more popular. Artichokes make a surprisingly wonderful choice and thanks to the several growing areas of Ocean Mist Farms, the country's largest grower/shipper of fresh artichokes, this tasty vegetable is available throughout the year.

Artichokes need a quick pre-cooking before they go on the grill; try boiling, steaming or microwaving them a day or two ahead. You can grill pre-cooked artichokes au naturel, brushing them with a little olive oil or your favorite oil-based salad dressing as they cook. Or give them a dip in a flavorful marinade.

When shopping, look for medium sized artichokes that are firm and heavy for their size, and squeak when you squeeze them. Be sure to pick artichokes that have tiny thorns at the tips of the petals. Thornless artichokes will disappoint you-they have much smaller and less meaty hearts, so there's less eating enjoyment.

Aside from being delicious, artichokes are nutrient dense too-a good source of fiber, vitamin C, folate and magnesium. Remember, when choosing fruits and vegetables from the five color groups-red, yellow/orange, white, green and blue/purple-to include artichokes on your list for the green group! For more information about artichokes, go to www.oceanmist.com. For more information about 5 A Day The Color Way, visit www.5aday.org and www.aboutproduce.com.

Grilled Artichokes

Yield: Makes 6 servings
2 artichoke halves per serving

  • 6 medium Ocean Mist Farms artichokes
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary, mint, basil or tarragon
  • 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  1. Rinse artichokes in cold water. With a sharp knife, cut off the top 1/3 of artichoke. Cut off just the base of the stem, leaving most of the stem in place. Turn artichokes stem side up and cut in half lengthwise starting at the stem. With spoon or knife, scrape out the fuzzy choke in the center and discard.
  2. In saucepot heat 3 inches of water to boiling. Add artichokes, lemon slices, garlic cloves. Return to boil, then reduce to simmer. Cover, simmer until artichokes are just tender when base is pierced with a fork, 15 minutes to 20 minutes, depending on size. Drain well.
  3. Combine all remaining ingredients in 9x13x2-inch glass baking dish. Add drained artichokes, cut side down. Cover and refrigerate until ready to grill. (Can be done a day ahead.)
  4. To grill: Lift artichokes from marinade, reserving marinade, and place on grill over hot coals, cut side up. Cook until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Brush with marinade, then turn and cook until cut side is golden brown, about 10 minutes longer. Brush with marinade. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Nutrients Per Serving:
calories: 173,
total fat: 9.0g,
saturated fat: 1.2g,
% calories from fat: 40%,
protein: 7g,
carbohydrates: 23g,
cholesterol: 0mg,
dietary fiber: 10g,
sodium: 465mg

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Diabetic Exchanges: 4 Vegetable, 1-1/2 Fat


Produce for Better Health Foundation/NAPS