Tarragon-Lemon Aioli Served with Grilled Artichokes

By • May 4, 2010 16 Comments

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Author Notes: Freddy and I spent a few of our favorite trips touring the countryside of Sicily. The artichoke, which is usually identified with California, is actually from Sicily. This is my effort at making a a delicious aioli to dip wonderful, grilled California artichokes when they're in season. I used large globe artichokes for this recipe; if you are lucky, you will find artichokes with a couple inches of the stalk attached...this makes a fomidable presentation. Note: I like to make my aioli ahead of time.dymnyno

Food52 Review: These smoky, bewitching artichoke cross-sections are an ideal kickoff to any warm weather supper. Boiling then grilling both speeds up the cooking time and renders much more of the leaf tender enough to eat with knife and fork than mere steaming -- and you'll want to eat as much as you can, if only as an excuse to keep dipping into dymnyno's rich, feisty aioli. Kristen Miglore

Serves 4

For the grilled artichokes

  • 4 large globe artichokes
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Trim the artichokes: Remove all the tough outer leaves and then, with a very sharp knife, cut off the top of the choke (about an inch) to remove the sharp tips. If you are lucky enough to have a artichoke with stalk, peel the stalk with a vegetable peeler.
  2. Cut the choke in half lengthwise. With a spoon, scoop out the hairy choke, but be careful not to remove the heart. Put the chokes in a bowl with some lemon juice so they do not turn brown.
  3. Heat your grill to high. In a pot of water, squeeze half of the lemon. Add the chokes and simmer for about 15 minutes until they are tender. You can also steam them, if you prefer. Remove the chokes from the water and drain.
  4. Mix together the oil and garlic, then brush the mixture on the artichokes and place them on the hot grill.
  5. Continue to brush the chokes with the garlic-oil mixture and keep turning them so that they do not burn. After a few minutes, remove them from the grill. Sprinkle with a little sea salt.

For the tarragon-lemon aioli:

  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 fresh egg yolks (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  1. Place the tarragon leaves, garlic cloves, and salt in a clean mortar. (I always fill mine with hot water, pour it out, and dry it before using.)
  2. Begin pounding with the pestle until the ingredients start to form an emulsion. This will take several minutes.
  3. Add the egg yolks and continue to mix with the pestle.
  4. When the egg yolks are incorporated, SLOWLY start to add the olive oil a few drops at a time; this will start to emulsify.
  5. When all the olive oil has been added and you have a beautiful green mayonnaise, add the lemon juice and incorporate it into the emulsion. Then let it refrigerate and rest for a while.
  6. This is the dipping sauce for the artichokes, and it should be made ahead of time. It's also good on a lot of other vegetables (like grilled fennel).

More Great Recipes: Vegetables|Appetizers

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Comments (16) Questions (0)


7 months ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

How have I never seen this recipe? It looks amazing!


over 4 years ago wssmom

Scored a couple of lovely artichokes and this is for dinner tonight! YUM!


over 4 years ago dymnyno

I hope you love it!


over 4 years ago wssmom

It was LOVELY!!


over 4 years ago nogaga

This looks just delicious... Tarragon is such a great herb for aioli. Plus, GORGEOUS mortar! It almost looks like you got it from the primeval jungle.


over 4 years ago dymnyno

Thanks...tarragon is one of my favorite herbs. The mortar belonged to my great grandmother.


over 4 years ago dymnyno



over 4 years ago gingerroot

I love this! Artichokes and aioli = perfect pair. I'm looking forward to trying this.


over 5 years ago karinbn

I tried grilling some artichokes last night, following your recipe. I had never had grilled artichokes before and I liked the grilled flavor. When I took them out of the pot after simmering them though, they seemed kind of waterlogged. When I grilled them, a lot of the moisture did evaporate out, but not quite as much as I would have liked. I think next time I will steam the artichokes rather than simmering them. Haven't tried the aioli yet, but it looks lovely.


over 5 years ago coffeefoodwritergirl

This looks yummy! I make a grilled artichoke which is sort of similar -- but I just throw all the ingredients (half a lemon, bulb of garlic cut in half, couple of swirls of olive oil) in the water when boiling. I love your idea of brushing continuously with the olive oil/garlic mixture -- it must be absolutely delicious. I'm looking forward to trying this! (The aioli looks great too!)


over 5 years ago arielleclementine

this sounds perfect :)


over 5 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

I've never cooked artichokes..............Love the sound of the aioli with lemon.....on veggies. and chicken. Heaven


over 5 years ago solmstea

This sounds good, but I'm really in awe of that mortar! How beautiful!


over 5 years ago dymnyno

Thanks! I have a great collection of mortors and pestles.


over 5 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.



over 5 years ago dymnyno

thanks...the sauce is really delic...I am having it with grilled fennel tonight...made basically the same method as the chokes.