Grilled Artichokes with Lemon Garlic Aioli

We recently enjoyed a family stay-cation and ate out a lot!  While dining out, we seemed to always find grilled artichokes on the appetizer menu.   The hubby and I LOVE artichokes – needless to say, we ordered them more than once. While on our stay-cation, we learned that the older one seems to also really enjoy a grilled artichoke dipped in a little lemon garlic aioli.
So, shortly after our return from the stay-cation, I made just that.  Now, if you have never made artichokes, plan for this process to take a little bit of time.   I steam these for about 30 minutes and then grill for 10-15 minutes to get the nice, smoky flavor.   I have always used an electric steamer.  Always.  These can also be steamed over a pot of boiling water on the stove.  I am not a fan of boiling artichokes, they seem too water-logged for me!  I would definitely recommend steaming them. 
Another choice you need to make when serving artichokes is whether or not to trim the artichoke before serving – another task I typically skip.  You can take a knife and cut the top of the artichoke with a knife as well as cut the sharp points off of each leaf with a pair of scissors.

Grilled Artichokes
Serves 2-4

2 artichokes
Lemon, halved
1/8 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste

Start by cutting the artichokes lengthwise.  This will speed up the cooking process.  Once you cut the artichoke, immediately rub one of the lemon halves on the cut side.  Artichokes brown very quickly! 

Next, take out the “choke” of the artichoke – the little, white hairs in the middle.  A grapefruit spoon works great for this step!  Once the choke is out, rub more lemon juice underneath where the choke was.

Steam the artichokes, either use an electric steamer or steam over a burner. To your water, either way, squeeze the lemon juice half into the water.

Heat grill.  Mix your olive oil, garlic and a little bit more lemon juice into a small bowl.  Remove artichokes from steamer, drain and pat dry, and brush on the olive oil mixture – cut side up first, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Ready For The Grill:

Start on grill, cut side down and brush on the olive oil on other side.   Grill, turning occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the artichoke begins to char.  You can continue to brush on the olive oil mixture if you would like. 

Lemon Garlic Aioli
Makes 3/4 cup

1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 to whole lemon, squeezed (depends on juiciness of lemon!)
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.  I had a really juicy lemon, so only used half.  The lemon juice combined with the mayonnaise should give it more of a “sauce” consistency.  Add the other lemon half if it is still too thick.

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