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Artichokes are always a fun finger food. This recipe features a wonderful red pepper aioli dipping sauce making it fun and delicious.
1. In a food processor put 2 cloves of the minced garlic, white wine vinegar, and the egg yolks. Start the food processor and when everything is combined, slowly drizzle in 1½ cups of the olive oil in a steady stream, continuing to process until blended. Add the roasted red pepper and pulse until smooth. Put the aioli into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
2. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
3. Rinse the artichokes, spreading the petals to flush out any debris. Cut about ½” off the top of the artichoke and trim ¼” from the bottom of the stem. Pull off and discard any of the outermost petals that are growing from the stem or those that are split. Use shears to cut the spiny tips from the remaining petals. Use a vegetable peeler to trim away only the outermost tough layer of the stem. Rub all of the cut edges of the artichokes, including the stem, with the ½ lemon to prevent browning.
4. Spread the petals and sprinkle salt and pepper and the 2 remaining cloves of the minced garlic between the petals. Drizzle ½ teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and ½ tablespoon of olive oil between the petals of each artichoke. Squeeze the ½ lemon over the center of all the artichokes. Wrap each artichoke in aluminum foil, sealing tightly and place directly on middle rack in preheated oven for 1 hour. Add another 15 minutes if the artichokes are “jumbo” sized. Then remove them from the oven. Carefully remove the artichokes from the foil wraps and allow them to cool slightly so you can handle them.
5. Cut the slightly cooled artichokes in half through the stem to the top. Scoop out all the fuzzy “choke” and discard. Season the exposed interior with salt and pepper.
6. Heat a grill pan over medium heat and brush it lightly with olive oil. Lay the artichokes cut side down in the hot pan and cook without disturbing for 2 minutes until grill marks appear.
Serve the artichokes with the cut side facing up and a dollop of aioli in each. Serve an additional small bowl of the aioli with each serving.
Tips and trending:
Although artichokes might be available at your local market year ‘round, they’re really only in their best form from early spring through late summer. Whenever you buy artichokes look for the petals to be closed tightly together and the whole thistle should feel firm when you apply pressure to the sides. Avoid any artichokes with stems that are shriveled or are cut off completely. If you can’t find a decent artichoke, find something else to cook! Happily in the winter months you may be able to find Jerusalem artichokes to at least satisfy your craving for the unique artichoke taste.
Always provide a bowl or bowls on the table for discarded artichoke petals.
If you have concerns about using raw egg yolks in the aioli, combine 2 cloves of the garlic, and the roasted red pepper with 1½ cups of mayonnaise and allow to meld, covered, at room temperature while you prepare the artichokes.
The most delicious appetizer ever!
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!