any ideas on how to use small purple artichokes as a side dish to compliment grilled chicken or steak?
I am assuming these are "baby artichokes." Peel the leaves until you get down to the tender leaves (white/yellow). Trim the top and bottom just a bit. Blanch, then put in ice water. Once cool, drain and cut into halves or quarters (slicing vertically) and saute in butter and olive oil with garlic. DEEE-licious.
My answer is similar to "Whole Foods Market Customer". Carciofi alla romana or artichokes roman style. Prep as directed above but use a melon baller or spoon to scoop out the hairy choke. Fill with a mixture of bread crumbs and mint. Braise in water with olive oil until tender. Serve at room temperature dressed with more olive oil.
I do a variation of Edda Servi Machlin's recipe in her book about the cuisine of the Italian Jewish community. Trim each, drop into acidulated water while you trim the rest. I halve them. Simmer in a large pot full of the water, salt, lots of minced flat-leaf parsley, olive oil lemon juice crushed garlic and maybe peppercorns until tender. Can be served cool or cold.
The classic Jewish recipe, carciofi alla giuda requires slightly large artichockes and they are kind of flattened out and then deep fried. BTW the history of Rome's Jews going back to the Inquisition is really fascinating.