Spring and summer nights. They are my favorite time of year to relax after a long day, and have some “me” time. My favorite nights are sitting on the patio enjoying the weather before the sun goes down and having a nice chilled glass of Chardonnay.
Cambria’s Benchbreak Chardonnay fits the bill. Pair that with a smoky and savory snack, and I can feel the stress wash away while I enjoy the tastes of summer.
Artichokes remind me of Santa Maria Valley. When we visited the Cambria vineyards last summer, I can remember driving by artichoke farms and we were in awe of the abundance. We did some glamping on the vineyard and it is such a wonderful estate. They have a tasting room that should be on everyone’s bucket list. You can see all the photos of the glamping trip and Cambria’s beautiful vineyard and estate here.
Artichokes are a regional favorite in Santa Maria, California where Cambria wine is produced. To me that just means they are meant to be together, and I love reaping the benefits of this union – despite the claim that artichokes are a difficult vegetable to pair with wine. The accompanying Garlic White Wine Dip helps tie it all together.
With it being the peak season for artichokes right now (March - May) I can get a bundle of them to eat every day. I love them steamed, boiled, with butter, aioli, mayo, or even plain with just some salt and pepper. But once you put them on a grill, it is a whole new ball game.
If you have never had a grilled artichoke before, then this is a must-have recipe that you need to print out and make ASAP! It will change your life. Once that smoky, charcoal flavor hits this spring vegetable, it is so tender and hearty enough to be its own meal, or a great side to any main dish.
The trick for making great grilled artichokes is that you actually do most of the cooking before you get it on the grill. The grill is meant to enhance the flavor and add some smokiness to it.
Grilled Artichokes with Garlic White Wine Dip
- 2 large artichokes
- 1 lemon, halved
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tbsp chopped scallions
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Trim the tops and ends of the artichoke leaves and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the centers and any fuzzy choke. Squeeze a bit of lemon to prevent browning. If you would like to prep your artichokes a head of time, place in a bowl of water with the juice from a whole lemon until your ready to boil. Pre-heat your grill on med-high heat. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add artichokes and boil for 15 minutes. Drain well. Take artichokes out carefully (they will be hot,) and lay on paper towels. Mix lemon juice from ½ lemon into separate bowl. Stir in olive oil, garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside until you are ready to grill your artichokes. Once you are ready to grill, brush the artichokes front and back with the garlic oil. Place artichokes on the grill. Baste with oil while cooking and turn a few times until the tips are charred and you get some grill marks. (5-10 minutes.) Serve immediately with Garlic White Wine Dip
Garlic White Wine Dip
- 1 ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup white wine
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp dijon or whole grain mustard
- ½ tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
- Salt & pepper
In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.
Want more fabulous recipes? Be sure to check out an Intimate Farm-to-Table Potluck hosted by Cambria Winery. Many more recipes and a photos of a beautiful farm as the perfect backdrop to entertain.
About the author:
Erin Kennedy is the founder and editor of My Thirty Spot, a lifestyle website, and My Cooking Spot, a website dedicated to all things food related. Erin currently resides with her husband and two adorable kitties in Phoenix, AZ. Her interests include dressing chic on a budget, sharing anti-aging tips, cooking, creating new recipes and capturing life through photography.