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Steamed Artichokes with Aioli Dipping Sauces

Fiery hints of habanero and a squeeze of tart lime enliven the buttery, nutty flavors of the artichoke. Pair with California Pinot Gris or Chardonnay.

Ingredients
  • 2 large globe artichokes
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) grated lime peel
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) minced habanero pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) rice or cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) finely chopped flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice

Serves four



Directions
  • For the artichoke:
  • Cut stem one inch (2.5 cm) from the top of artichoke.
  • Pull off the smallest petals around the base of each artichoke and use kitchen shears to trim sharp points of each remaining petal.
  • Place a steamer rack in a very large pot. Add water up to the bottom of the rack.
  • Bring the water to a boil.
  • Place the artichokes on the rack, cover and steam over medium heat for 40 minutes, or until a knife slides easily into the base. (If water reduces significantly while cooking, refill as necessary.)
  • Remove artichokes from the pot and place on a serving platter.
  • For the aioli:
  • Combine both oils in a small pitcher or cup.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the lemon juice, salt, garlic and egg yolks until well blended.
  • Whisking constantly, add the oil a few drops at a time until the mixture starts to thicken.
  • Very gradually, continue to whisk in the remaining oil; the mixture should be thick and creamy.
  • Divide the aioli into three small serving bowls.
  • Stir the lime peel and lime juice into one bowl.
  • Stir the habanero and vinegar into the second bowl.
  • Stir the parsley and lemon juice into the third bowl.
  • To eat: use your fingers to pull off an artichoke petal and dip the bottom, fleshy edge in one of the sauces. Place the petal half way into your mouth pull it through your gently closed teeth to remove the soft, slightly sweet flesh. Discard the rest of the petal. When all of the petals are eaten, use a spoon to scrape away the fuzzy portion of the artichoke heart that remains. Slice the heart into quarters and enjoy with (or without) sauce.

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