I am an equal opportunist when it comes to the vegetable world. There are no veggies that I deeply dislike and there are no veggies that I have an unnatural love for. I am neutral. My husband cannot make that statement, his true vegetable love is corn. You put a few ears of corn in front of that man and you would think he just found a $100 bill. There are few people who I know that have such a deep affection for a vegetable. The other is my old roommate, she adores artichokes. When they are in season the woman is an artichoke eating machine. I have to say though, when you watch someone eat a vegetable that they love that much you can’t help but enjoy it just a little more. I find myself buying corn and artichokes simply to see them smile. I love how easy it is to brighten their day.
My old roomie has recently introduced me to the grilled artichoke. Holy Cow!!! They are delicious. They have this charred, smoky flavor and the heart, oh the heart, it will make you an instant artichoke lover! Tonight, after grilling them, I broiled them with a little bit of basil aioli and parmesan. It was decadent and rich with a ton of flavor. To bad my roomie wasn’t here…I guess I will have to make them again!
Grilled Artichoke with Basil Aioli:In a steamer, steam an artichoke for about 30-35 minutes or until tender at the bottom. Cut the artichoke in half lengthwise. Core out the inside of the artichoke and remove any of the “hair”. Meanwhile heat the grill. Place the artichoke on the grill for 1-2 minutes until charred.
For the aioli (aka mayo), (visit the French Picnic recipe for a basic mayo recipe) add a bit of hot sauce and some basil to the basic aioli and blend. Scoop a small portion of the ailoi in the center of the artichoke, sprinkle with parmesan and broil for a minute until cheese melts. Sprinkle with chopped basil and serve.
The aioli in the center will get slightly firm but add a great eggy texture to the artichoke. It is not a creamy dipping sauce that you might be accustomed to serving with artichokes. But good thing you didn’t use all the aioli in the center of your artichokes!! Serve with the extra aioli on the side in case you want to creamy dip.