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Artichokes with Lemon Aioli

Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon
  • 14 baby artichokes
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Directions:

Trim the artichokes
Grate 1 tsp. zest from the lemon and set aside. Halve the lemon and squeeze 2 tsp. juice from one half. Reserve the juice and both lemon halves.

Snap off the tough outer leaves from each artichoke and trim the spiny tops and the stem. Remove any fibrous portions around the base. Halve the artichokes. As you work, rub all the cut areas with the unjuiced lemon half.

Cook the artichokes
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the 2 lemon halves and the artichokes, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the bases are tender, about 6 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water to stop the cooking. Discard the lemon halves.

Preheat a grill pan over medium heat. In a bowl, toss the artichoke halves with the olive oil until evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Place the artichokes in the pan and cook, turning occasionally, until they are crisp and grill marks appear, about 10 minutes.

Make the aioli
Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, garlic and reserved lemon zest and juice.

Transfer the artichokes to a platter and serve with the aioli. Makes 28 pieces.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Small Plates, by Brigit L. Binns (Oxmoor House, 2007).