Special Party Menu, with our famous Grilled Artichokes

closeupchokes.jpg Recently a dear friend of mine turned thirty, and in honor of the occasion we had a surprise wine tasting birthday party for her. We bought wine and covered the labels with tuscan themed scrapbooking paper, labeling each with a number for identification purposes. But, being us, we had to have the perfect menu to go with the wine. partyfeast.jpgWhat to serve? We decided on a menu of gourmet cheeses (including sheep’s cheese and goat gouda) and organic apple slices, a fresh vegetable platter and grilled artichokes with an accompanying dip that is out of this world (see recipe below), homemade french bread from Bette Hagman (see her cookbook, More from the Gluten-free Gourmet: Delicious Dining Without Wheatfor her wonderful rapid rise recipe), fresh basil and italian seasoned olive oil, grilled tofu made with Organic Toofu, assorted olives from Whole Foods, brined grilled shrimp, and mixed wild greens for a salad. Of course, no birthday party is complete without a cake, so DH also rolled up his sleeves and made his yummy carrot cake. (Although it was good, we let the cake sit out overnight to cool and it resulted in a rather crumbly cake- we’ll tweak the recipe before posting it.) The best part was of course the cream cheese frosting. carrotcakewithfrosting.jpg Mmmmm… The entire meal was gluten free, and our 11 odd guests didn’t seem to mind or even particularly notice. The bread especially drew raves, but the tofu was also surprisingly popular, even with a non vegetarian crowd. Just goes to show, you don’t need gluten to have a celebratory meal that your guests can enjoy… And personally, I was loving the leftovers the next day. Lunch box with french bread, organic sweet peas and grilled artichokes with dip, and grilled tofu for lunch, anyone?

Oh- I was so busy being a hostess I forgot to take photos until halfway through the party. Oops…

Grilled Artichokes
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rice wine, white wine, or apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup dry white wine (Chardonney)- or more if you like
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 -1 onion (chopped)
3/4 cup water
8 artichokes, quartered and choke removed, soaked in a large bowl of
salt & pepper

Dipping Sauce:
1 and 1/2 cup mayonnaise (Best foods light or vegan)
1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard (grey poupon for more kick)
3 tbsp. Minced capers
3 tbsp minced shallots
4 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs (chives, thyme, basil etc)- or more
to taste!
Lemon juice (to taste)
Salt (to taste)
Cayenne pepper (optional, for a kick)


Place Olive oil, vinegar, wine, garlic, onion, and water in a large
saut or soup pan and place on burner, bringing it to a simmer. Drain
artichokes and discard water. Add the artichokes, cut side down in a
single layer in the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and
cover the pan. Cook until the artichokes are barely tender, about 15
minutes. Remove the artichokes from the pan, season with salt and
freshly ground pepper, and grill for 4-5 minutes until nicely


For a faster recipe, steam artichokes until slightly underdone. Then baste with a little olive oil and grill.

Accompanying Dipping Sauce:
(Inspired by Cooking Live)

Throw in food processor and blend until you get a lovely creamy dip.
Serve with grilled artichokes. Yum!
There will be lots left over, so you can enjoy it with other dishes
or cut recipe in half.

*note: recipe may be halved if you like: 4 artichokes work well

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2 Responses to “Special Party Menu, with our famous Grilled Artichokes”

  1. [...] Appetizer: DH Grilled Artichokes with Dip K’s Veggies and Chips with hummus and dip Salad: V’s Greek Salad with Feta and Dressing on the Side Entrée: Sea Vegetarian Risotto (recipe below) Entrée: E’s Gluten Free Quinoa Tabbouleh Protein Entrée: K’s Turkish Moussaka Bread: Sea Bette Hagman’s French Bread Beverages: L#1 Wine Dessert: L#2 Fresh Fruit with cream Sea Homemade Ice Cream- Vanilla, Banana [...]

  2. [...] I have always loved grilled vegetarian foods, and grilled artichokes and grilled marinated sesame tofu have been two of our signature party dishes for years. But for some reason, I’ve never spent all that much time in front of a grill myself, usually leaving it to DH. This summer all that came to an end when I started turning up the propane myself to grill all the vegetables I’ve been buying from the Farmer’s Market. I first used a spice rub on vegetables for By the Bay’s Event Cooking For Karina. It turned out so well, I began trying it with a myriad of other vegetables. My most recent creation involved a round Kabocha, Japanese green skinned pumpkin, a sesame oil spice rub, and an unexpected accompaniment of sundried tomato almond pate. And you know what? It was delicious! DH isn’t crazy about kabocha, but ever since I first had it in Japan in sweet, creamy mayo kabocha salad, I’ve been hooked on this sweet, rich cousin of the American pumpkin. Many grill restaurants in Japan offer you the opportunity to grill a host of vegetables, including kabocha right at the table. I’ve never been that crazy about the results, as pumpkin takes a while to cook and it usually ended up bland (with no GF sauces available) and undercooked, but when I incorporated my recent sesame oil spice rub technique, I came up with a new, favorite way to enjoy kabocha. Kabocha is really good for you, by the way, as it is “rich in beta carotene, with iron, vitamin C, potassium, and smaller traces of calcium, folic acid, and minute amounts of B vitamins.” But one thing I didn’t know is that while Kabocha is more common in Japan now than in the US, it actually originated in the US! Who would have thought it. According to my friend Wikipedia, “Kabocha originated on the American continental mass. Christopher Columbus found it and took it back to Europe along with tobacco, potatoes, and tomatoes. After that, the vegetable traveled around the globe and was brought to Japan from Cambodia on Portuguese ships in 1541, during the Azuchi-Momoyama period. Subsequently it became known as kabocha.”(Source for both: Wikipedia) So, from America, to Japan, and back to America again- the kabocha has really gotten around! Today it’s grown all over the world, and even grown in California and Florida, so look for it in your local asian market and try some today. Some tasters compare it to a cross between pumpkin and the sweet potato- but however you describe the flavor, it’s really delicious, and much easier to deal with than the larger American pumpkin. Why not enjoy a well traveled food- and find some kabocha for yourself, today? [...]

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