My dad, Bucky, gets all the credit for this amazing picture. He sent it to me while on a boy's trip. His friend, Rob Robertson, is the mastermind behind this recipe. I have yet to sample Rob's magic, but I was so intrigued that I set out to try this myself. Smoking food requires even, low heat. In order to achieve this, you want to prepare a two-zone fire, setting all of the charcoals to one side while the food is placed over the other side of the grill. This will forever change your thoughts on artichokes!
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 55 minutes
2 artichokes, halved
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup white wine
2 heads garlic, halved
Freshly ground black pepper
several handfuls of wood chips (oak or hickory), soaked in water for 30+ minutes
what to do: Prepare a two-zone fire on a charcoal grill to medium heat (350 degrees). Arrange the coals in a neat mound and light with newspaper or fire starter. Once mostly covered in ash, the coals are ready to spread over to one side of the grill.
Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice into a non-reactive bowl. Fill the bowl with water and add lemon halves.
Working with one artichoke at a time, remove any stray leaves from the stem. Trim the thorny tips from the leaves with a pair of scissors. With a small knife or vegetable peeler, trim the green outer skin as well as the stem of the artichoke.
Cut the artichoke in half removing the choke with a spoon and place in the bowl of lemon water while you trim and prep the other artichoke.
Cut garlic heads in half.
Drain the artichokes and place each artichoke half on a square of aluminum foil. Drizzle each half with a tablespoon each of olive oil and white wine. Season with salt and pepper. Top each half with a half head of garlic. Wrap each half tightly in foil.
Drain the wood chips and add 1-2 handfuls directly to the charcoal. When the wood begins to smoke, place the artichokes to the opposite side of the grill for 45-50 mintues.
Carefully, remove the foil and garlic from each artichoke half. Add another handful of pre-soaked wood chips to the charcoal and continue to grill, exposed side down, for another 5 minutes.
Serve artichoke halves with melted lemon-butter or aioli.