How to grill an artichoke

May 6, 2011 | By | Comments (2)

In a corner of the test garden these rangy artichoke plants form a silvery backdrop most of the year, but around now, they kick into gear and produce lots of edible flower buds—that’s the part you eat. One of my favorite artichoke recipes is for grilling them. They get a nice smokiness that really enhances their flavor. Today I dressed them up with a Meyer lemon gremolata—even better!

Artichoke plant
Artichokes growing in the Sunset test garden

Artichokes growing

You want to pick the buds when they’re still tight—before they open up and bloom like a thistle.

  How to trim an artichoke

To trim an artichoke, cut off the top, pull off the small leaves at the base, then snip off the spiny ends from the rest of the leaves.

How to peel an artichoke stem
You can eat artichoke stems too. Just cut off the fibrous outer layer.

Grilled artichokes with Meyer lemon gremolata dressing

4 artichokes

2 large Meyer lemons

5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 large garlic cloves, minced

Salt, to taste

1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Trim leaves and stems on artichokes as shown above. Bring 2 in. water to a boil in a big pot. Squeeze juice from the 1 lemon and add it and its shell to water, then add artichokes. Simmer until they’re tender when pierced, about 20 minutes.

2. Drain artichokes and run water over them to cool. Cut them in half, then take out the chokes.

How to remove the fuzzy choke

Use a spoon to scoop out the fibrous chokes.

3. Zest the remaining lemon and set zest aside. Mix juice from the lemon with 2 tbsp. oil, the garlic, and salt to taste. Brush the mixture all over the artichokes.

4. Grill artichokes, turning once, until grill marks appear, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a platter.

Artichokes on the grill

5. Mix the reserved zest with parsley, remaining 3 tbsp. oil, and salt to taste. Spoon dressing into hollows of artichokes.

Grilled artichokes with gremolata dressing

Wondering if artichokes grow in your climate? The Sunset Plant Finder will tell you.


  1. Elaine Johnson

    Kathy, kudos to you for hanging in there with your gardening efforts! Hope you get a good crop this year.

    May 6, 2011 at 5:55 pm
  2. KathyG

    I am trembling (and salivating) with anticipation, for at long last (over 20 years of intermittently trying to grow artichokes) I think I am finally going to get some. Usually it’s too cold to overwinter them here (Sunset Zone 1) , but this year somehow I did it. All past efforts have succumbed to hordes of horrible black aphids, death by freezing or rot (left winter protective mulch on too long). I don’t have a grill, so will savor any ‘chokes I get the old-fashioned way — steamed with melted butter …… but this post made me even more excited. Maybe I will throw in some lemon peel. If my artichokes succeed, I will move on to something really hard. Hmmm ….. avocado trees? Banana farming?

    May 6, 2011 at 12:54 pm

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