Sunday, July 8, 2007

Carciofi alla Griglia/Grilled Artichokes

Yes, another summer vegetable recipe! Well, acutally in California we have access to artichokes almost year-round. This is one of my favorite ways to prepare this fun food.

Quarter a large artichoke or halve a small one. With a spoon, clean out the hairy choke, or center. As quickly as possible put them into a small amount of salted, boiling water. (The longer they are exposed to air, the centers become dark.) Cook, covered in simmering water until they are almost done - when the hearts are almost soft. While cooking, light grill. Remove and drain well. Coat lightly all over olive oil and grill on a medium flame until they get a little crispy with grill marks on all sides. I like to serve this a basil aioli for dipping.

For Basil Aioli: (make aioli from scratch and blend in some chopped basil, or you can use the shortcut version for aioli that I often make)

By hand mix some high-quality mayonaisse, with a one pressed garlic clove, a light squeeze of lemon and some high-quality olive oil. Crush some basil leaves with a mortar and pestle and add to the aioli mixture. Blend well with a fork or whisk. Taste to adjust ingredients.

Artichokes and wine make a terrible marriage, although with the grilled flavor and bold aioli, rose' is not a bad match.

Buon appetito!

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