Grilled Artichokes w/ Lemon Caper Aioli
Yesterday was Father’s Day and my dad’s birthday! So, because it was such a memorable day, and we were celebrating two major reasons to love on my on pops, I decided to make his favorite grilled veggie. When I was growing up, I could find my dad in the kitchen on special occasions, otherwise it was mostly my mother who cooked. My father was the grill master and would always be the one to prepare a select few things; he made the juiciest steaks, the best gyros, and of course, the perfect artichokes. He knew what he was really good at and he stuck to his classic recipes. From what I can remember, we seemed to always have those crazy good artichokes on those long summer nights and it was usually for a Sunday supper. Sunday dinners were always special in our home. My sister and I would sit down with my mom and dad and discuss the past weeks events and the future weeks plans. It was nice and I really miss those times.
I wanted to make the same grilled artichokes I grew up with, but with a bit of a twist. Kris and I don’t own an outdoor grill, so the job had to be done on a grill pan on our stovetop (which incidentally turned out perfectly!). I have always been a bit intimidated by the big green vegetable, that some what resembles a succulent or cactus flower, but have learned that they are just the opposite of intimidating. In fact, they are super simple to prepare but do require just a few tasks. The thing about artichokes, is they take some time to prepare and they need a lot of flavor enhancing goodies. They are all about a labor of love and that is one reason why I adore them so much. Even when it comes time to eat them, you have to “get through” the outer leaves to reach the perfectly cooked center, called the heart. You must coax these babies with a lot of affection and they will most definitely love you right back! The lemon caper aioli is a friendly dipping sauce for the artichokes and is really nice if you are serving this as an appetizer for a small gathering, but otherwise isn’t really much needed. These artichokes can be eaten straight from the pan and have enough seasoning to sustain them alone, although the ailoi is always a nice touch. Serve them how you wish and remember to give them a try for your next dinner! Enjoy!
- 4 globe artichokes
- 1 TBSP red wine vinegar
- 2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- salt & pepper
- 1 TBSP chopped fresh dill
- 1 TBSP chopped fresh parsely
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- pinch of cayenne
- juice of a small lemon
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 TBSP capers (optional)
- 1. Prepare the Lemon Caper Aioli. In large clean bowl, whisk the egg yolk, garlic and salt with 2 teaspoons of water until frothy. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, about a teaspoon at a time, until it become thick and creamy looking. Whisk in the cayenne, dijon, lemon juice and pepper. Add the capers and whisk. Cover and set aside in the fridge.
- 2. Prepare the artichokes. Add the olive oil and the smashed garlic clove to a small bowl and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add 1 TBSP red wine vinegar. Cut off about an inch off each of the artichoke’s stems and about 1/2″-1″ off the top of the artichokes. Peel away some of the outer lower tough leaves. Cut each artichoke in half lengthwise and scoop out the choke (the “hairy” middle). Add the artichokes to the boiling water and boil for 10 minutes, using tongs to push them under the water from time to time. Drain the artichokes and place on a large plate or baking sheet. Heat your outdoor grill, or your stove-top grill pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once cool enough to handle, brush each artichoke with garlic infused olive oil and sprinkle each one with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Place cut side down and grill for 5 minutes or until visible char marks are seen. Plate the artichokes cut side up and sprinkle with freshly chopped dill and parsley. Serve immediately with (or without) the lemon caper aioli. Enjoy!
- These artichokes could serve a small gathering of 4-6 people as a little, yet super delicious, appetizer, or 2-4 people as a side.
- The aioli is obviously not vegan. If you are not consuming animal products, a nice lemon vinaigrette could work just fine. These artichokes are just as good without a dipping sauce when served on their own!