Roast Baby Artichokes
I’m a huge fan of grilled artichokes. Charred, buttery, nutty flesh, dipped in rich, garlicky aioli. I’m drooling just thinking about it! The problem is, cleaning artichokes takes a bit of work, and requires boiling the artichokes before grilling.
Enter roast baby artichokes, the adorable mini-me of the global artichoke. These little guys don’t have the fuzzy choke of the big artichoke, and are less work to cook and clean. You simply peel the outer, dark green layers until you have removed about 3/4 of the leaves. The inner leaves are a light yellow-green, and will crisp up beautifully. It seems like a lot of waste, but the outer leaves are too tough to eat, and the inner heart is so delicious and rich that you won’t need to wolf down a huge whole pile, though you will want to once you get a taste!
Appetizer for 2 | 45 minutes
1 lb baby artichokes (8-10 artichokes)
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice from 1/4 lemon
1 clove minced garlic
Salt & pepper
Easy garlic aioli:
1/2 cup store-bought mayo (full fat is best)
1-2 cloves garlic
Salt & pepper
Prepare aioli: Mix minced garlic & mayo. Season with salt & pepper to taste. I like to make this at least an hour in advance so the flavors can blend in the fridge, and get super garlicky. If there’s any leftover marinade from the artichokes, I like to mix that in at the end to make the dip more runny and a little lemony.
Clean artichokes: Peel the outer, dark green layers until you have removed about 3/4 of the leaves, until you get to the light yellow-green inner leaves. Trim a small slice from the bottom of the stem (that part is usually dark and unpleasant looking), then peel the skin from the stems with a vegetable peeler. Trim the top 1/3 of the artichokes, then slice them in half lengthwise. If you want, you can put the cleaned artichokes in a bowl of water with lemon to prevent browning, but I don’t think this is necessary since the artichokes will brown up in the oven anyway.
Cook artichokes: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss artichokes with oil, garlic, a squeeze of lemon. Add salt & pepper to taste. Heat up a cast iron skillet over the stove. Arrange the artichokes in the hot plan with tongs, and place skillet in the oven for 10 minutes. Flip the artichokes and roast for another 5 minutes.
Written & photographed by Jen Yu.