I’m sharing today’s recipe by popular request on Instagram, but I’ll be the first to admit: My initial attempt at grilling artichokes might have looked great in the photo I shared a few weeks ago, but it was not a success by any means. In fact, they were a royal pain to eat and almost not worth the effort. It’s probably been 12 years since I’ve had fresh artichokes (my mom used to steam them), and I completely forgot about their hazards. Namely those pointy ends! Not only did I leave them on, causing us to poke ourselves as we tried to get to the meat, but I also forgot to scoop out the fibrous choke. It was a little bit of a disaster, not to mention my first attempt at aioli left me feeling like I was just missing something…
I’m happy to report I went back to the drawing board last night, determined to perfect grilled artichokes and make a worthy aioli to accompany them. This time I snipped off those sharp ends, cleaned out the middles, and slathered them with garlic-infused olive oil before grilling. Now when you pick one up, hot off the grill, you can simply peel back each leaf to scrape off the meat with your teeth and work toward that prized heart without getting attacked in the process. Oh, and the aioli turned out reaaallly good too. Keep reading for the recipe!
Grilled Artichokes with Lemon-Thyme Aioli
2 large artichokes
Juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 clove of garlic, cut into slices
Freshly ground black pepper
For the aioli:
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayo1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
Juice of half a lemon
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of capers, drained
2 teaspoons of fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Red pepper flakes
Freshly ground pepper
Combine olive oil and one clove of garlic in a small prep bowl. Let the garlic infuse into the olive oil as you prepare the artichokes. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with water and squeeze in the juice from one half of a lemon; throw in the lemon half. Working one artichoke at a time, trim off the sharp tops of each leaf. Cut off the bottom 1/2-1 inch of the stem. Cut the artichoke in half lengthwise through the stem. Scoop out the choke (fluffy fiber as well as the super thin leaves in the middle). Add each artichoke half to the lemon water to prevent browning as you continue to trim the next artichoke. Drain the artichokes and transfer to the pot of boiling water. Cook until tender but not falling apart, 10-15 minutes. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water to cool down. Transfer to a baking dish.
Meanwhile, combine Greek yogurt, sour cream, mayo, dijon and lemon juice in a bowl. Fold in garlic, capers, thyme and parsley. Season generously with red pepper flakes (I used a lot), then salt and pepper. Mix well. Garnish with lemon zest, a thyme sprig and extra red pepper flakes. Brush the garlic olive oil on each side of the artichokes. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a grill over medium-high heat. Grill the artichokes, about 3 minutes per side, until charred. Transfer artichokes to a plate and serve with the lemon-thyme aioli.