Sunday, October 10, 2010

Steamed Artichokes with Outrageously Good Aioli

Sometimes you get tired of putting out the same old cheese and olive board with crackers and are in need of something new to serve as an appetizer. The key is picking something just as effortless and tasty as the previously mentioned cheese and olive board. Here is your solution. 

First, get your artichokes steaming. Get a stock pot with steam basket (if you don't have one you can always boil the chokes but I prefer steaming if you have the equipment).  Fill water about 4 inches in pot. Toss in  some fresh lemon wedges, 2 bay leafs, and 2-3 whole garlic cloves. This is a simple step that you should not skip as this will add lots of great flavor to your artichokes throughout the steaming process. Next, bring water to a boil. While you are waiting for the water to boil, clean and trim your artichokes. 

Wash them with water. Trim off a bit of the stem. Grab some kitchen scissors and trim the sharp pointy tips off of the leaves. 

Once the water is boiling put the artichokes into your steam basket and cover. Reduce heat from high to medium heat and let steam for about 45 minutes or until the stems are fork tender. While your artichokes are steaming you can whip up the outrageously good aioli. 

You are more than welcome to make some mayonnaise from scratch but most of you would rather save the time and use store-bought mayo...either is fine!

Add 1 cup of mayo into a mixing bowl. Squeeze in the juice from half of a lemon. Mince two cloves of garlic and toss that in as well (if you are sensitive to the strength of fresh garlic you can blanch your cloves in milk for a few minutes before mincing them to make them a bit milder). Next grab whatever fresh herbs you have in the fridge (chives or Italian parsley is perfect) and chop finely before adding into the mixture. Refrigerate aioli while artichokes finish steaming. Once ready, remove artichokes and serve alongside aioli. 

Simple and Delicious.

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