Grilled Artichokes

grilled artichokes served open with vegan aioli dipping sauce

These grilled artichokes with Cajun vegan aioli are the perfect appetizer for a dinner party… delicious, easy to prepare in large batches and the presentation is sure to impress. Since they are top 8 free and vegan, they will also accommodate nearly all dietary needs.

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As a California native, I absolutely love artichokes and have since childhood. When my husband and I first met, he told me that he hated artichokes (the horror!). But it turns out that he’d only had them once as a child… perhaps they weren’t prepared properly or didn’t have the right dip? Maybe there was no dip at all! What I do know, however, is that I’ve made a convert out of him.  Our favorite way to prepare artichokes is grilled because of the complex flavor pofile that it produces… and I swear it takes less time than the traditional steam or boil varieties with significantly more flavor.  The Cajun, vegan aioli provides a perfect little kick and compliments the flavors of the artichokes so well. I like to throw these on the grill for a few minutes for an additional bit of smokey flavor, but it’s not necessary in the dead of winter, or if you just don’t want the extra step. 

Prepare the Artichokes

The first step to preparing the artichokes is to prep and clean them. It’s a bit more up front work, but saves time and mess at the dinner table.  Rinse the artichokes and have lemon slices nearby. Peel the stem and trim to 1 inch in length. Cut the artichokes in half vertically and trim about ½ inch off of the top. With a pair of scissors, snip the tops of the leaves (while not necessary, the presentation is nicer and the artichokes are less dangerous). Rub the stem and outside with a lemon slice to prevent oxidation. Turn the artichokes over, and with a spoon, scoop out the fuzzy part (the choke) and cut out the purple leaves (they’re inedible). Squeeze some lemon juice inside.  Repeat with remaining artichokes.

With a mandolin, thinly slice, 3 garlic cloves. Brush the insides of the artichokes with 1 tbsp olive oil. Wedge ~4 garlic slices between the leaves of the artichoke. Repeat with small sprigs of rosemary, using them to keep the garlic in place. Top with salt and pepper to taste. Pour 2/3 cup broth into a shallow baking dish. Add to garlic cloves, roughly chopped, and 2-3 bay leaves to the broth. Place the artichokes cut side down into the broth. Brush with remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil and additional salt and pepper. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Cover with foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes depending on size. 

Prepare the Vegan Aioli and Serve

While the artichokes cook, prepare the aioli.  Combine all ingredients in a serving dish and stir to combine. Heat the grill to 400 degrees, if grilling. When the artichokes are done baking, place them face down on the grill for 2-3 minutes, just long enough to char the outsides and impart a slight smokey flavor. Serve warm with aioli on the side.

Yield: 6 servings

Prep time: 12 minutes

Cook time: 25-30 minutes

Grilled Artichokes Recipe with Cajun Vegan Aioli Ingredients

For the grilled artichokes

  • 3 artichokes
  • 1 lemon, sliced in wedges
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves thinly sliced +2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 12 small (2”) sprigs of rosemary
  • 2/3 cup gluten free broth
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Cajun Vegan Aioli

  • ¼ cup vegan, soy free mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free steak sauce or Worcestershire sauce (contains fish, see recipe modifications below for replacement options)
  • ¼ cup vegan sour cream (I like Kite Hill- contains almonds)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon honey or agave
  • 1 ½ teaspoon horseradish
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I like tobacco for this)- can be omitted if you don’t like spice
  • ½ teaspoon Cajun or creole seasoning

Grilled Artichokes Recipe with Cajun Vegan Aioli Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Clean the artichokes. Peel the stems and cut to 1 inch. Cut the top inch off of the artichokes with a sharp knife and trim the sharp leaves with kitchen scissors.  Rub the outside with lemon wedge. Cut the artichoke in half vertically. With a spoon, scoop out the fuzzy center and purple leaves- these are inedible. Squeeze lemon wedge on inside of artichoke
  3. Brush the artichokes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. To each artichoke, place 4 garlic slices between the leaves (all over). Add 2 rosemary sprigs to each artichoke half, one on either side.
  4. In a shallow baking dish, pour in broth. Add the roughly chopped garlic and bay leaves.  Place the artichokes, cut side down, into the dish. Brush on remaining olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  5. Cook for 15 minutes uncovered. Remove from heat and cover with foil. Cook until tender, another 10-15 minutes.
  6. While artichokes are cooking, prepare the vegan aioli. Combine ingredients in medium bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
  7. When artichokes are complete, place on grill for 2-5 minutes, just long enough to char the outside and impart a smokey flavor. This step is optional, but truly takes the artichokes to the next level.
  8. Serve warm with aioli and lemon wedge on the side.

Recipe Modifications

Worcestershire sauce contains fish and some say undisclosed soy. If either of these are a concern for you, there are options. Based on your allergy requirements, I would recommend any of the following: soy sauce, oyster sauce, a combination of tomato paste + vinegar, coconut aminos

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