Thursday, February 18, 2010

Grilled Artichokes with Red Pepper Aioli

Sunday afternoon, I was riding along the coast in my husband’s shiny new red truck (perfect wouldn’t you say for Valentine’s Day?).  The sun was shining brightly, and I could almost pretend it was spring.  I could, that is, until I looked over to see the ocean absolutely churning.  The waves hitting the rocks with angry strength were from a storm system that passed through the day before.  The ocean was beautiful to watch as we drove along.  With the sunroof and windows open, we continued our drive through the Santa Cruz Mountains.  I could almost taste spring in the wind blowing through my hair.  I know our rainy weather doesn’t compare with the snow and ice in some areas of the country, but I’m tired of winter and I’m ready for spring.

When we arrived home I tasted spring again when I made these Grilled Artichokes with Red Pepper Aioli.   These beautiful artichokes were “local” according to their sign at the market. I chose to ignore my husband who suggested there might a Chilean town named “Local.”   These artichokes were delicious, and my whole family enjoyed them.  My son had his with plain mayonnaise, but my daughter, husband and I had ours with the Red Pepper Aioli.   I recommend you have a loaf of good bread on hand when you make these artichokes, because you’re going to want something to soak up the leftover aioli. 
Grilled Artichokes
4 Large Artichokes, ends trimmed
3 sprigs fresh thyme
freshly squeezed juice from 1 lemon
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

Fill a large pot with water and add the artichokes, thyme, lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons kosher salt.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Boil the artichokes for about 20 minutes or until barely soft.  Drain artichokes and set-aside until cool enough to handle.  Cut the artichokes in half, and remove the choke with a spoon.  Brush the artichokes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium high.  Place the artichokes cut side down on the grill and cook for 5 minutes and then turn over, and cook the artichokes for another 5 to 10 minutes or until the flesh gives easily when pierced with a fork.  Serve the artichokes warm with the red pepper aioli.

Red Pepper Aioli
Adapted from Giada De Laurentis at
2 cloves garlic
1 roasted red pepper, drained
½ cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Place the red pepper and garlic in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse the pepper and garlic until pureed.  Add the mayonnaise and blend until smooth.  While the food processor is running pour in the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  You can make the aioli 2 days in advance.


  1. Those artichokes in the top photo are gorgeous. Sometimes I forget all about artichokes — they sort of drop off my radar. But now I have a bit of a craving.

  2. are they in season already???
    I love the top photo as well.

  3. Hi Dan and M, When I saw these babies in the store, I just knew I needed to get a picture, so I'm glad you like it! Thanks for reading!



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