Growing up, I was introduced to artichokes through a can. I knew where they came from in real-life but never really had them in their natural state because my mother did not know how to fix them and my dad was truly not that thrilled with their neither appearance nor taste. So my artichoke journey continued either packed in water or oil, nothing else until I moved out on my own.
My husband had worked in many different types of restaurants and one he worked at was a “true” Italian establishment. The owner had invited us over for dinner and behold what was on the table but fresh artichokes. No cans, oil or water packed, simply Mother Nature grown, harvested, and prepared with the freshest ingredients. I was in artichoke heaven and felt I had won the culinary lottery.
After dinner, I inquired how he fixed them. Well, a man of few words would rather show than tell you so off to the kitchen to fix another round of artichokes, which I was not complaining about. While that has been many years ago, I never forgot and took his technique and made it my own with a few alterations. Below is my camp fire version of this delectable dish, which by the way has my mouth watering. Oh, I cannot wait until artichoke season.
Camp Fire Recipe: Dutch Oven Baked Lemon-Garlic Artichokes
Liquid or spray oil
3 to 4 fresh artichokes with stems attached
3 to 4 lemons
6 to 8 cloves of garlic
Bottle of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
- Prepare the coals by first building a fire.
- Prepare the 10 inch Dutch oven by coating the inside with liquid or spray oil. Please note: this Dutch oven size is for average sized artichokes.
- Depending on the number of artichokes, pull out large squares of foil for each artichoke double. Example, if you have three artichokes you will need six squares of foil. Set aside.
- Cut ½ inch off the top of each artichoke and slice in half down the length of the vegetable.
- Remove the purple leaves in the middle along with hairy fibers.
- Peel garlic cloves and slice lemons in half.
- Taking one square of foil, place one half of an artichoke on foil and squeeze a half a lemon on the outside and inside of the artichoke. Place one clove of garlic in the center of the artichoke.
- Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Wrap foil around prepared artichoke half, place in Dutch oven and repeat.
- Add the lid and move the filled Dutch oven to a heat resistant surface.
- Arrange 10 prepared coals on this surface and top with the 10 inch Dutch oven.
- Completely cover the lid with prepared coals.
Cook for 50 minutes. At that time, check for doneness. If tender, serve. If you still feel a bit of resistance, cook for another 10 minutes. Enjoy.