Pressure-Cooked Artichokes with Lemon Aioli

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

Although prickly artichokes usually need to be steamed for half an hour or even longer to tame their tough texture, a pressure cooker makes quick work of them. The aioli—a traditional accompaniment for artichokes—is brightened up with a generous quantity of lemon juice, which complements the earthy flavor of these edible thistles.


  • 4 globe artichokes
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 Tbs. peppercorns
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed

For the aioli:

  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) canola oil
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) olive oil 
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
  • 3 to 4 Tbs. fresh lemon juice 


Working with 1 artichoke at a time, using a paring knife, trim the end of the stem and peel the stem. Snap off the small, tough leaves around the base of the artichoke. Cut off the top one-third of the artichoke; then, using kitchen shears, trim off any remaining thorny leaf tips. Gently pry the center leaves open and, using a small spoon, scoop out the prickly choke and discard. Repeat with the remaining artichokes. Rub the cut surfaces of each artichoke with one of the lemon halves as you trim them to prevent the artichoke from darkening.

Fill the well of a pressure cooker with 2 inches (5 cm) of water. Add the remaining lemon half, the peppercorns and garlic cloves.

Using artichoke steamer inserts to hold the artichokes upright, add the artichokes to the pressure cooker and lock the lid. Bring the cooker to high pressure, then continue cooking for 5 minutes on high.

While the artichokes are cooking, make the aioli. Pour the canola and olive oils into a measuring cup with a spout. In a blender or food processor, combine the egg yolks, mustard, garlic, salt and white pepper. Pulse several times until the garlic is pulverized. With the motor running, slowly add the oil, just a few drops at first and then in a steady stream, until the oil is completely incorporated. Transfer the aioli to a bowl and stir in 3 Tbs. of the lemon juice. Stir in the remaining 1 Tbs. lemon juice if needed to thin the aioli; it should be the consistency of mayonnaise. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

When the artichokes are cooked, release the pressure in the pressure cooker and open the lid carefully. Remove the artichokes from the pressure cooker. Serve hot or at room temperature with the aioli alongside for dipping. Serves 4 to 6.

Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen

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