Grilled Baby Artichokes with Lemon-Basil Aioli
These subtly smoky grilled artichokes are well worth the time and effort it takes to prepare them. Choose small spring artichokes that feel heavy in your hand, with an even, unblemished green colour and tightly closed leaves.
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 5
Lemon-Basil Aioli
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 4-6 leaves fresh basil, very finely minced
Grilled Baby Artichokes
  • 2 lemons
  • 10 baby artichokes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. To prepare the aioli, combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk until blended and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use (aioli can be prepared up to two days in advance and stored in the refrigerator).
  2. Move on to the artichokes. Start by juicing one of the lemons into a large bowl of ice water, and cut the remaining lemon in half.
  3. To prepare each artichoke, trim the stem, leaving about 1", and peel . Rub the cut surface with a lemon half (repeat this process with any new exposed surfaces to keep them from oxidizing). Snap off the bottom 3 to 4 rows of leaves, then cut off the tip. Snip off sharp thorny tips from remaining leaves. Finally, halve the artichoke lengthwise to expose the small fuzzy centre (also known as the choke) and scrape it out with a sharp paring knife. Transfer the finished artichoke halves in the bowl of lemon water. Repeat with remaining artichokes.
  4. Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add the prepared artichokes and boil until crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Drain, then run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Pat dry and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  5. Drizzle the artichokes with olive oil, and toss until evenly coated. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper.
  6. Preheat grill on medium-high heat. Arrange the artichokes on the hot grill, cut side down. Grill until tender and lightly charred, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately with small bowls of Lemon-Basil Aioli on the side.
Recipe by Crumb: A Food Blog at