With a serrated knife, cut artichokes into quarters and cut sharp tips of leaves off. Scoop out the prickly center part of the artichoke, and discard. Immediately rub the cut side of the artichoke with a lemon half to help avoid yellowing. Place artichokes in a large stockpot filled with cold water.
Add peppercorns and garlic cloves. Squeeze the juice of the lemon into the water and add the leftover lemon skin/peel to the water. Bring artichokes to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes or until artichoke leaves easily pull from the head and the bottoms of the artichokes are tender.
Remove from the stock pot and drain.
Prepare a grill with hot coals or a gas grill over high heat. Drizzle artichokes with olive oil and kosher salt and pepper.
When grill is hot, place artichokes on grill and cook for 3 minutes each side or until nice grill marks appear. Remove and serve immediately or at room temperature with garlic lemon butter (recipe follows).
For the Lemon Garlic Butter
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and allow the solids to cool slightly, then skim the fat solids from the clear butter below and discard the solids. Add lemon zest, garlic cloves, kosher salt and fresh thyme and cook on medium until garlic browns slightly and becomes aromatic, about 5 minutes.
Add lemon juice to butter mixture and mix well.
Drizzle over artichokes or on the side as a dipping sauce.
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