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The Great Summer Smokeout

Lemon-Parmesan Artichokes and Fennel

Matt Balke, Smoke

Photograph by Jody Horton

3 or 4 whole fresh artichokes
4 medium lemons (juice all 4 and zest 2)
3 or 4 whole fennel bulbs
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for brushing
1/4 cup each roughly chopped herbs and greens such as parsley, thyme, tarragon, basil, fennel fronds, celery leaves, and mint (should yield minimum of 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, or to taste
chunk of Parmesan for shaving (or about 1/4 cup grated)

Preheat the grill and prepare a large pan of ice water. Trim the stem of each artichoke to about an inch. Remove tough outer leaves. Cut each artichoke in half lengthwise. Remove and discard the choke. Put artichoke halves in a large pot of salted water with about 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and simmer until soft, about 20 minutes. Plunge artichokes into ice water to stop cooking and then drain on paper towels.

Cut off the stalks and fronds of the fennel bulbs. Trim each core (but not so much that bulb falls apart). Slice bulbs lengthwise into ½ inch-thick pieces. Brush artichokes and fennel with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until lightly charred, about 5 minutes per side. (Fennel should be just tender to the touch.)

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the remaining lemon juice, zest, oil, herbs, salt, and pepper (it should taste very lemony). Toss artichokes and fennel with mixture. Place on a platter and shave Parmesan over top. Serve at room temperature or chilled. 

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