This dish screams spring and summer to me because artichokes are usually so plentiful this time of year. Although California artichokes are available all year long, they seem plumper and more appetizing when the weather’s warm. Growing up in a Cuban household I can’t say that I ever saw one on my dinner table, but as an adult I became curious about the exotic looking veggie and I acquired a taste for it. Now I add some zesty flavors to it. What could be more tropical than adding garlic and lime to this healthy and beautiful vegetable?
artichoke with garlic, lime & aioli
Artichokes may look a little intimidating, but once you get through the small amount of prep work, you're golden. They're simple to steam and they're delicious. The leaves and hearts are tasty and perfect vessels for all sorts of creamy dips, herbed butters or mayonnaise. My favorite dipping sauce is this olive oil aioli, but feel free to get creative.
My secret tip is to steam the artichokes with garlic pieces and lime wedges inside the leaves for added flavor.
3 large globe artichokes
1 large lime (or 2 medium) sliced thinly and cut into 4 pieces
9 large garlic cloves sliced
1 egg yolk
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 cup olive oil
1 head roasted garlic
1 lemon juiced
salt and pepper to taste
Slice about an inch off the top of each artichoke and all of the stems so they can have a base to lay flat. With kitchen scissors, clip off the thorned tip of each petal. Rinse the artichokes with cold water making sure to open up each petal and let the water run through. Alternately tuck pieces of lime and garlic inside each petal.
Pour a couple of inches of water into a large pot and place a steaming basket inside the pot. Place the artichokes on the steaming basket and cover the pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for about 30 to 45 minutes or until the outer leaves can be easily pulled off.
While artichokes are cooking you can prepare the aioli. Beat the yolk, vinegar and mustard in a bowl together, slowly whisking in the oil to create a thick mayonnaise. Squeeze the garlic out of the roasted cloves and add to the mayonnaise, as you continue to whisk. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.