Recipe: Artichokes with Lemon Butter and Chile Aioli

If you read my last post, you know that I really love artichokes. After all, I nearly named this blog after them. So it only seems appropriate that the first recipe post I share with you be all about this lovely vegetable.
Artichokes
While you can easily get canned artichokes year-round, the even better, fresh version of this veggie comes into season right about now—spring. I’ve seen them popping up in all my favorite grocery stores (yes, there is more than one) and have brought home a couple each week.

The beautiful thing about artichokes is how simple they are to prepare. My favorite way is to throw them on the grill in the summer; however, with a lack of sunshine last weekend, I opted for the easier, indoor method of boiling.

Artichokes

If you’ve never actually eaten an artichoke before, all you have to do is pull the outer leaves off and, holding on to the end, scrap the “meat” of each leaf off using your teeth. The further in you get, the more meat will be on each leaf. Eventually, you will be able to pop the entire leaf in your mouth. After you get through all the leaves, you’re left with the choke, which makes all that hard work you did worth it–the choke is the best part.

Artichokes

Artichokes with Lemon Butter and Chile Aioli

artichoke

1 lemon

lemon zest

1 lb unsalted butter – room temperature

1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped

3 eggs–whites separated out

1 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp red pepper flakes

salt

To cook the artichokes

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Make sure the pot is deep enough to submerge the entire artichoke. Toss in 1 half of the lemon, some salt, and the artichoke. Let boil for approximately 35 minutes, or until the outer leaves are soft.

Lemon Butter

In a food processor, mix the butter, lemon zest, juice from other half of the lemon, rosemary, and a bit more salt. Scrape it into a small bowl for dipping the artichoke leaves—it is best when it is still semi-warm or at room temperature so that the dipping is facilitated.

Chile Aioli

Pour the egg whites, red pepper flakes, and a little salt in the food processor. As it is processing (the eggs should be getting nice and frothy), slowly pour the olive oil in until you have a nice, thick consistency.

**Note—I had a bottle of some really delicious chile-infused oil that my sister gave me as a gift, I used this instead of the red pepper flakes. So if your color is not the same as mine, do not fret!**

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/aprilds/4509072432/&#8221; title=”Artichokes by aprilds, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4058/4509072432_158e915912.jpg&#8221; width=”500″ height=”333″ alt=”Artichokes” /></a>
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