Complement your Spring menu with Roasted Baby Artichokes with Lemon Aioli. Unlike big artichokes, baby ones don't have a inedible, thistly "choke" that needs to scooped from the center--the whole baby artichoke can be eaten.
6 cups water
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
12 baby artichokes
5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 425°.
Combine 6 cups water and 4 tablespoons juice in a large bowl. Cut off top 1/2 inch of each artichoke. Cut off stem of each artichoke to within 1 inch of base; peel stem. Remove bottom leaves and tough outer leaves, leaving tender heart and bottom. Cut each artichoke in half lengthwise. Place artichokes in juice mixture.
Drain artichokes; pat dry with paper towels. Combine artichokes, 1 tablespoon oil, salt, and pepper; toss well. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until tender, turning after 10 minutes.
Combine remaining 1 tablespoon juice, remaining 2 teaspoons oil, mayonnaise, garlic, and lemon rind in a small bowl. Serve aioli with artichokes.
I look forward to spring for a variety of reasons foremost of which is the season's first artichokes and asparagus from California. There will be seasonal variations so cooks should prepare accordingly, for example last year's baby artichokes were firm and fleshly, this years' not so much. These are finger foods and are served as such. A vegetable peeler makes short work of the stems and as a rule I always remove the prickly ends of the chokes with a kitchen scissors and a chef's knife for the main bunch of leaves. These are easily prepared in advance and held at room temperature with plenty of fresh lemon juice squeezed over the cooked chokes.
Agree that there wasn't much to the artichoke but it was delicious. A lot of work to prepare the artichoke itself. They were so good that they didn't even need the aioli! I will try to make the dip for next time!
I was happy to see baby artichokes at Wegmans last night, so I roasted a double batch (24 artichokes) this morning. This is a very easy recipe, and the aioli is a nice, refreshing dip for these.
If you're going to go through the process of cleaning up the artichokes, you might as well make a double batch so you have it for more than one meal. Once you take off the tops, stems and outer leaves, there really isn't much left.
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