The Recipes

Steamed Artichoke with Aioli

I never tasted an artichoke until I moved to southern California when I was 21.  There were a lot of foods I never tried growing up, in part due to my modest Midwestern upbringing, and the fact that my mom has really, really specific things she likes.  Artichokes are now one of my favorite foods, and it's rare to see good-looking ones out here on the East Coast.  When I see one, I go for it.

To make the aioli, you can either use store-bought mayo, or create your own.  You can take a hand with a blender, or beat an egg yolk by hand and slowly start to drip in olive oil, streaming in only once a creamy base is created.



Steamed Artichoke with Aioli

Ingredients:

- 1 artichoke, cut in half, stem and excess leaves trimmed
- 1 T. red pepper flake
- 1/4 c. mayo (or prepare your own - see above)
- 1 T. Worstershire sauce
- a healthy amount of your favorite hot sauce
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- salt
- pepper
- 1 lemon, juiced

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the artichoke halves, red pepper, and a healthy amount of salt and pepper.  Squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl and set aside.  Add the lemon halves to the pot.  Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes; until the heart of the artichoke is fork tender.

Combine garlic, Worstershire, mayo and hot sauce.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Drain the artichoke.  Using a spoon, scoop out the hairy center - called the choke - and discard.  Drizzle the lemon juice over the artichoke and serve with the aioli.