Tag Archives: dip

Grilled Artichokes with Lemon Dill Dipping Sauce

If you haven’t noticed by now, I really like grilling vegetables (see Grilled Sweet Bell Peppers and Grilled Romaine Salad with Bacon and Bleu Cheese).  I think I’m drawn to doing this because roasting and grilling gives veggies another dimension of flavor you can’t achieve in other cooking methods.  It also is a low fat way to give your veggie more flavors.  With very little seasoning (if any at all) you can transform a bland vegetable into a vegetable with slightly more flavor.

I’ve always been a fan of eating artichokes.  I know some people have never even picked one up at the grocery store because they wouldn’t know how to go about cooking it or eating it.   Hopefully if you’re an artichoke virgin, this blog post helps alleviate some of those fears about artichokes.

First things first – prepping the artichoke:

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Each leaf on the artichoke has a little thorn at the tip of it, which makes them undesirable to handle.  Before steaming the artichoke, these spiky tips should be removed.  I use a serrated knife to cut off the tops of the artichokes.  I recommend a serrated knife as opposed to a regular knife because the leaves are rather tough when raw, and the serration help cut through the leaves easier.  I also trim up the stem at this point.  My only motivation behind it is so that it fits in the pot easier when I steam them.  Next, you should use a pair a scissors to remove the remaining spiky tips around the rest of the artichoke.

Once that is completed, place them in a pot with some water and steam them anywhere from 20-30 minutes.  The artichoke is ready when you can easily pierce the stem with a fork.

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Grilling the artichokes:
I started doing this about a year ago, and now that I’ve tried it, it’s my preferred method of cooking.  The ‘chokes are ready after being steamed, but I like taking it one step further and grilling them.

To do this, cut the ‘chokes in half and remove the heart.  Drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper and make sure the flat surface of the ‘choke is covered (the part that will be touching the grill).  Put them on a grill with medium to medium-high heat for about 2-3 minutes.  This part is to your own preference on how grilled/charred you like them.

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Traditionally, artichokes are served with some sort of dipping sauce.  Usually it’s a mayonnaise or aioli of some sort, or melted butter.  I wanted to change it up and make a healthier dipping sauce with flavors that compliment the artichoke well.

Lemon Dill Dipping Sauce:
Plain Greek Yogurt
Juice from ½ lemon
1 tsp dill
salt & pepper

Mix the ingredients above to desired consistency.  The lemon juice is meant to add flavor as well as thin the yogurt a bit so it’s not so thick and easier to dip into.

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There you have it, I hope you enjoy.  What other veggies do you like grilling?

Hot Cheesy Artichoke Dip with Sweet Pepper Scoopers

There’s always a need for a good appetizer to whip together for when you’re having company come over.  This is an old recipe my family has been making for years, but ever so slightly adjusted by me to try to make it more healthy.

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This dip comes together fast then bakes its way to deliciousness in about 25 minutes.  While it can be served with any variety of chip, crostini, bread, or cracker, I chose to pair it with halved sweet peppers to help get you to that full vegetable serving for the day.  Carrots or celery are also a good choice if sweet peppers are not appealing or available to you.  Let’s be honest, the Cheesy Artichoke Dip is the superstar of this recipe.  Any vehicle to get it from the dish to your mouth will do the job.

I thought about posting the nutrition information for this recipe, but after I put it all together, it was a little depressing (mostly because of the fat and sodium content).  Be forewarned, this isn’t the healthiest of artichoke dips (note the mayo and cheese) but that’s what makes this dip oh so delicious.  This will just have to be one of those times where you try to exercise some will power and portion control.  If shared among six friends equally, it’s just over 200 calories per person.

Ingredients:
1 can artichoke hearts in water
1 can diced green chilies
½ cup mayo
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup parmesan cheese

Directions:

Roughly chop the artichoke hearts.  In an oven safe dish, combine chopped artichoke hearts with the diced green chilies, mayo, garlic power and half of the parmesan cheese.  Mix until combined.  Smooth and sprinkle the other half of the parmesan cheese on top.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes until cheese has melted, and the dip is bubbling on the edges.  Cool for 5 minutes and serve.

Tell me what you think of my take on artichoke dip.

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