One of my favorite treats as a kid was when my Mom would serve artichokes instead of a salad with supper. I’ve always been too intimidated to try preparing them myself, but it turns out they’re quite simple…they just sit in the oven for a loooong time.
First, trim your artichokes. Cut off the stem and the top. Wondering where to slice the top? Use the shape as a guide. The artichoke is bulb-shaped, fat on the bottom and narrower on the top. Slice it across the top where it starts to taper (i.e., where it starts getting narrow). Wash the artichokes, snip the tops of the leaves, and fan the leaves out a bit. Nothing crazy, just pull them off the core slightly so you have some spaces for the seasoning to seep into. Cover the whole thing with olive oil, salt, and pepper. This time, I used white pepper instead of regular and added a clove of minced garlic. Some lemon would be great too. Wrap the whole thing in tin foil and roast in a 425 oven for about 70 minutes.
Growing up, my mom always served the artichokes with a bowl of melted butter for dipping. While I do agree that simple is best, every recipe I found online showed the artichokes being served with some form of aioli. I was starting to feel a bit of fomo so I decided to break with tradition and go with this popular aioli route. I simply mixed some white miso paste with mayo and lemon pepper. All to taste. You could use fresh lemon juice, maybe add a shallot…but I didn’t have that on hand and simply using these pantry staples was perfect.
I served the artichoke and aioli on a meat and cheese plate this weekend, where I like to think it played a starring role. The aioli was a great dip for the other veggies I had splayed out on the board, especially the grilled ones. I have to admit, roasted artichokes and dip do look pretty gorgeous. I don’t love how long they have to sit in the oven, but I can forgive them since, while lengthy, the process is so so simple.
What a lovely dish, and beautiful spread!