With beautiful weather in store for this week, I couldn’t resist pulling out the grill over the weekend!  I’ve only made this recipe a few times (I’m still working on perfecting the “art of the artichoke”), but it gets tastier every time.  And of course since the grill was already out, I HAD to make Brick Chicken for dinner on Sunday, right?

When I was in New York last May for the National Stationery Show, a friend and I tasted this appetizer and loved it.  We asked the server what was in dip, and since then I’ve been trying to recreate it.artichokesgrilled

Grilled Artichokes with Lemon Creme Fraiche Dip

2 artichokes

1-2 Meyer lemons

8 oz. package of creme fraiche (you can also substitute plain Greek yogurt if you can’t find any)

chives, finely chopped

oil – extra virgin olive or vegetable oil

salt and pepper


First, clean the artichokes and cut off the top of each one with a knife.


Then using kitchen shears, trim the sharp, thorned tips of each leaf.

artichoke haircut

Cut one lemon in half (and have it at the ready).  Next, cut the artichokes in half lengthwise and rub the inside flesh with the lemon to keep it from browning (which it will do quickly).

artichoke half

Use a spoon to scoop out the “hair” at the inside base.

artichoke inside

Once they’re cleaned, steam the artichoke halves for approximately 15 minutes until tender.

artichokes steamed

While the artichokes are steaming, you can make the dipping sauce.  In a small bowl, combine the creme fraiche and chopped chives.  Stir in the zest from one lemon and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.  Add salt and pepper (and lemon juice) to taste.  Then make yourself quit tasting until the artichokes are ready.  🙂

artichoke dipping sauce

After the artichokes have steamed, fire up the grill.  Brush the artichokes with oil (or use an olive oil sprayer to lightly coat them) and put them inside-down on the grill over low heat.  Grill for 5-7 minutes and then turn over and grill for another 4-5.  You just want a little char on the leaves (they’re already fully cooked from steaming).

Remove from the grill and serve with the dip.  To eat, peel away each leaf (discarding the tiny or too crispy outer ones), dip the “plucked” side in the sauce, and use your teeth to scrape out the artichoke leaf goodness.  This dish is a great as an appetizer or side at a cookout too – enjoy!