Baby Artichokes with Lemon Aioli
1 lemon, zested and halved
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
12 baby artichokes, peeled and halved
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze most of 1/2 lemon's juice into the water. Set the bowl aside. In a small bowl, add the mayonnaise and lemon zest. Squeeze remaining juice from both lemon halves into the mayonnaise. Mix well and set aside.
2. To prepare the artichokes, begin by tearing the outer leaves until the more yellow center is exposed. You will have about 1/2 cup waste with each baby artichoke. Cut the top 3/4" or so off the top just to get rid of the woody, spiky top leaves.
3. Trim the stem and peel the stalk to expose the tender part of the stem. I leave this on as it tastes great and looks very elegant. Finally, cut the prepared baby artichoke in 1/2 and place it in the acidulated water. After all the baby artichokes are prepped, drain them and set aside.
4. Heat a skillet on medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil starts to shimmer add the artichokes in a single layer, cut side down. Saute until golden brown without turning, about 7-10 minutes. When the cut side is brown, turn them over, add about 1/2 cup water, cover, and simmer until all of the water is evaporated and the bottom center of the artichoke is tender when pierced with a knife.
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, dip each piece of artichoke in the lemon aioli and pop the whole thing in your mouth. I also like to roast whole heads of garlic and squeeze a clove onto each piece with the aioli but the lemon flavor alone is so clean and complimentary to the baby artichokes.
This would be great as an appetizer on skewers, and the guest could dip into the sauce themselves. They are so beautiful and elegant that they could be a great side dish as well. I made this for a picnic for my boyfriend and I completed it with wine, olives, freshly baked bread, hummus, nuts, fresh mango and cucumber slices. He loved it!
Source of recipe: I wrote this recipe.