Grilling Artichokes From the Garden

by Jul 24, 2019

There are many ways to prepare artichokes, but grilling artichokes  continues to be a favorite preparation in our home. We use these grilled artichokes to top pasta or even tossed into a salad.

About artichokes as a crop & selection for grilling

If you have the garden space, I highly encourage you to grow your own.  Artichokes make lovely perennial additions to an edible landscape and you can read all about growing your own in Growing Artichokes: Your FAQs Answered.  Additionally, if you’re looking for more artichoke recipes and inspiration, scroll down to the bottom of this recipe for a list of dishes I have enjoyed using our homegrown artichokes! 

If purchasing artichokes at the grocery store or farmer’s market, look for ones that have tight petals that have not started to open yet (compact heads). Also, the smaller “baby” artichokes are sweeter, more tender, and preferred for grilling over larger artichokes.

Purple of Romagna Artichokes. A wonderful, stunning purple variety of artichoke to grow in Southern California.

Cooking supplies:

a pot for boiling the artichokes

a grill

Ingredients for grilling artichokes

artichokes *preferably young or with compact, tight heads

a lemon

kosher salt


extra virgin olive oil

*this recipe is basic and instinctive, hence the lack of measurments. Since you never know how many artichokes will be coming out of the garden, I’m giving you our basic process.

cut artichokes soaking in lemon water to avoid oxidation

Here are some artichokes being prepared for grilling. The lemon in the pot serves two purposes: preventing oxidation on cut artichokes and for flavor during boiling.

Before handling artichokes, there’s something important to note: artichokes have a bitter coating on the outside that will transfer to your hands during handling. Wear gloves when processing or wash your hands very well afterwards.

How to Grill Artichokes

Important NOTE: in this recipe and video we used smaller, young artichokes. If using older or larger artichokes, always inspect for tough or thorny leaves on the inside. You might have to remove or cut off more of the artichoke.

Prepare your artichokes for grilling (watch the video below for further explanation).

*Remember to wear gloves, or else you’ll get the artichoke’s bitter coating on your hands and will need to wash them very well.

Rinse off/wash your artichokes.

Be careful of thorns. You can clip them off using scissors, or rip off the outer leaves while being careful.

Tear off all the outer leaves, and keep going until you reach the young, tender, and creamy colored leaves on the inside.

At this point, slice off the tip of the artichoke with a knife which should remove any thorns that might remain. *for older artichokes, you might have to cut a larger portion of the tip off.

diagram of artichoke heart and choke

Here’s what your young artichokes will look like on the inside.

Now, you must shave off the tougher skin from around the thick bottom and  stem of the artichoke. (it’s much easier to see in the video).

Carefully cut the artichoke in half lengthwise.

Using a small spoon, scoop out the hairy choke on the inside of the artichoke. Discard. You may also discard some of the inner leaves if they have pointy tips.

Rub lemon over all parts of the artichoke to prevent oxidation and toss into your pot of water.

Video tutorial for how to prepare artichokes

After preparing your artichokes…

Add a generous pinch of salt to the pot of water and bring to a boil.

Place your prepared artichokes in the water, squeeze a slice of lemon into the pot and then add that slice to the pot as well.

Drizzle a little olive oil into the pot.

Parboil the artichokes until tender when pierced with a fork. About 5-7 minutes.


Remove the artichokes from the water and move them to a grill.

We are grilling just for the flavor and color at this point since the artichokes are mostly cooked.

When done grilling, you can drizzle olive oil over them on a platter and season with salt and pepper if desired.


Since you took the time to so carefully prep your artichokes, the parts that you are left with are now soft, thornless, and edible! That’s one reason I love our prep method. Instead of having more work left to eat them, your artichokes are now just meaty morsels of goodness!

*tasting note: sometimes when eating artichokes you can experience the cynarin effect. Cynarin is a naturally occuring compound in the artichoke that can cause water (or other foods consumed shortly thereafter to taste sugary sweet). I have never found any information to suggest this is unsafe, just one of those interesting science experiments! 

Here are some other recipe ideas for artichokes:

Fire-Grilled Artichokes 

Make your own marinated artichokes. You’ll have to prep, pre-steam, and cool your artichokes before making them. I’ve used this recipe before, but switched the lemon juice and oil amounts because I like more bite to my dressings. They are not meant for canning or long term storage.

This Food Network recipe for marinated artichokes is also good (but more work).

Want a main dish? Check out this delicious stuffed artichoke recipe, Carciofi Ripieni

Roast your artichokes! If you’re looking for a delicious vegetarian side dish using artichokes, try this Roasted Artichoke Recipe

Raw shaved artichoke salad (I don’t have a go-to recipe, but there are lots of options if you search it).

Want help learning to grow your own artichokes? Check out Growing Artichokes: Your FAQs Answered

Meet Randi

Urban gardening is my jam. I’m Randi, California girl who obsessively gardens to grow food and flowers around my urban home. Seasonal, simple living is what inspires me~ I hope it will inspire you too. Join me in crafting a life and home connected to the garden Read More>>>>

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