Grilled Baby Artichokes and an Awesome Cheese Board

Are you grilling for Memorial Day? Try these delicious grilled baby artichokes! Because they are small and tender, they do not have to be parboiled or steamed before throwing on the grill. I am also sharing some tips for creating an awesome cheese, nut and fruit board, in case you will be entertaining. (Or just like cheese, like me.)

grilled baby artichokes

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Melissa’s Produce who supplied many of the ingredients free of charge. The recipes, post and opinions are my own. You might remember Melissa’s Produce from my posts on Butternut Squash, Chick Peas and Black Rice with a Clementine Shallot Vinaigrette and Chestnut Tart with Fresh Winter Fruit (GF, Vegan, Low Sugar). I didn’t hesitate when Robert from Melissa’s reached out and asked if I wanted to try some of their latest products, like Clean Snax and the baby artichokes, and seasonal, exotic fruit and nuts.

cheese and nut plate with clean snax

First, the artichokes! I grew up in the Carmel/Monterey area on the Central Coast of California, which is the perfect climate for artichokes. I still remember eating the grilled artichokes at the Rio Grill in Carmel, and it’s been at least 15 years. They were slightly charred, and dripping in olive oil, garlic and salt. I actually had been wanting to grill artichokes for awhile, and was excited to see the baby artichokes from Melissa’s. Cutting into them, it was fascinating to see that some had no choke at all, and some had a little to cut out.

baby artichokes

Robert included Melissa’s new Hollandaise sauce, which made a tasty dipping sauce, along with our family’s favorite: balsamic yogurt. Other classics to try would be melted butter or garlic aioli. My mom used to do a semi-homemade take on aioli with garlic, lemon juice and mayonnaise. The full recipe for grilled baby artichokes and balsamic yogurt sauce are at the end of the post. We used the same olive oil, garlic and thyme, to dress a chicken my husband rotisserie-grilled, which completed our meal.

grilled baby artichokes with hollandaise and balsamic yogurt sauce

Now for the cheese board….

The “seasonal exotic fruit” ended up being lychees and mangos, two of our favorites! Our whole family really enjoyed the Clean Snax. The ingredients include almonds, honey, chia seeds, flax seeds, coconut… much like my raw energy bites. Except they are ready to eat! We got to sample all four of the flavors, Pumpkin Seed Clean Snax, Coconut Clean Snax, Cranberry Clean Snax and Almond Clean Snax. Along with hazelnuts and pine nuts, I thought they would complement a cheese board.

Cheese, fruit and nut board on fresh grape leaves

“Something old, something new, something stinky, something blue.”

When I pick cheeses, I use a version of the old wedding rhyme. I like something aged, something fresh, and something strong (which doubled as the blue cheese.) This one included an aged gouda, a pungent and creamy blue cheese, and chèvre (follow the link if you want to see how to make fresh goat cheese at home.) If you aren’t a stinky cheese fan, try “something creamy” like a brie, and you will also have a nice variety. Add something sweet, something salty, something crunchy, a glass of wine, and your set! To make it look pretty, I cut a few grape leaves from our vines. (The grape leaves also made it easy to pick up leftover cheese from the board and to separate them in my storage container.)

What are some of your best tips for creating a cheese board? Please share in the comments.

Grilled Baby Artichokes with Balsamic Yogurt Sauce

Grilled Baby Artichokes
 
Author:
Recipe type: Easy
Cuisine: Californian
Serves: 2-4 servings
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Inspired by the Central Coast of California
Ingredients
Artichokes
  • 10-12 baby artichokes
  • ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (plus more for garnish)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
Balsamic Yogurt Sauce
  • ⅓ cup plain yogurt (I used cream top, Greek would also work)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Prep the artichokes: rinse under cold water. Pull off a layer of tough outer leaves. Trim the bottom of the stems and any tough perimeter. Cut off the top third of the artichoke. Cut the artichokes in half, lengthwise. If there is any choke, use a paring knife to cut and scoop it out. Rub all cut surfaces with a slice of lemon as you go.
  2. Toss the artichokes in a bowl with the olive oil, garlic, thyme leaves, salt and pepper.
  3. Grill at medium heat for about 6-8 minutes on each side, depending on their size, or until the heart is fork tender. (For larger artichoke, consider steaming them half-way before grilling.)
  4. For the sauce, stir all the ingredients together. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve as a dipping sauce on the side.

 

4 responses to “Grilled Baby Artichokes and an Awesome Cheese Board

  1. “something stinky” that made me laugh! I’ve never cooked artichokes – ever – I may need to give them a whirl!

    • Joann, artichokes are delicious! They have strange chemical properties that make everything you eat afterwards taste better and sweeter!

  2. Pingback: 85 Ways to Use Yogurt

  3. What an interesting factoid! I had no idea Abby!

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