Sigh, Italian artichokes. They make me swoon. Gloriously beautiful with gradient purple and deep greens. I could easily gaze at them all day. Last week I was honored to photograph Chef David Anderson of Genoa and Accanto as he gathered produce at the farmer’s market for his seasonal menus. Among the beans, the melons, the peppers and the peaches, David picked up a crate of Italian artichokes. I seriously could not tear my eyes away from them. The moment our shoot was over, I beelined it back to the artichoke stand and picked this beauty up.
These guys are meaty and rich. Hearty enough to hold its own to any sauce, they offer a summer grassiness that, I found, pairs perfectly with lemon and lots of it.
Freshly steamed Italian artichoke leaves dipped in a super lemony garlic aioli is enough goodness to make anyone swoon.
Steamed Artichokes with Super Lemony Mint Aioli
Steamed artichokes are simple to prepare. If the points of the leaves are spiky, then give them a quick trim with your kitchen sheers.
1 or more artichokes
For the aioli:
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 large handful of fresh mint
Zest and juice from one lemon
salt and pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
For the artichoke:
Place enough water in a bottom of pot to just barely graze the bottom of your steamer basket.
Place artichoke in basket and bring water to a gentle boil.
Allow the artichoke to steam, with the lid on, for 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size of your artichoke.
You’ll know it’s ready when you gently tug at a leaf and it comes right off.
For the aioli:
Place all ingredients except for the olive oil in your food processor and blend until well combined.
When the ingredients are all blended, and with the machine running, slowly pour in olive oil in a steady stream until the sauce emulsifies.
Pluck artichoke leaves from artichoke and dip generously in aioli. Yum!