We’re getting our first real taste of spring today in New Jersey! I never thought I’d say this but the sound of landscapers working with their deafening leaf blowers is music to my ears! It’s only 45 degrees but with the sun shining it feels much warmer than it actually is. Even my dogs seem upset that I’m in the house staring at my computer screen when clearly we should be outside going for a walk! Well, soon enough! But first, I need to get this recipe out to you because baby artichokes will be popping up all over the markets in the next few weeks and it just wouldn’t be spring without them.
Start by looking for artichokes with beautiful green color and minimal amounts of dark spots on the inside of the leaves. The artichokes should be firm and not limp.
You’ll need to have the artichokes washed and prepped before roasting, which will require you to make the lemon herb mixture and have it sitting in a large bowl waiting for you. (I used meyer lemons for this recipe, but if you can’t find them, regular lemons will work just as well.) Once the artichokes are cut, the leaves begin to oxidize immediately so placing them in an acidic solution will help prevent that from happening.
- To begin, start by removing the tough outer leaves of the artichokes until you get the pale, almost white leaves midway into the artichoke. If you’re not sure keep going, removing more leaves is better than not removing enough and can result in an unpleasant texture after roasting (believe me I’ve done it).
- Then slice the sharp pointy edges off of the tip of the artichoke with a sharp knife and carefully peel away some of the tough outer layers of the stem.
- Slice the artichoke in half lengthwise, and carefully scoop any choke that may be at the heart.
- When you are done with each artichoke, place it in bowl with the lemon herb mixture. All the flavors will begin to marinate.
You can use any herbs you like, but I found basil, parsley and thyme compliment the lemon really well. The herbs and lemon get roasted together to crisp perfection. Dipping the artichokes in aioli (basically a garlicky mayonnaise) has to be one of the best parts about this dish and I’m ok with saying I used a store bought brand (Stonewall Kitchen Horseradish Aioli to be exact)! It’s knock-your-socks off good! A little goes a long way! You could also make your own by simply mixing a bit of mayonnaise, lemon juice and crushed garlic together or dip the artichokes in some extra lemon herb oil.
Hope you enjoy it! Now off for that walk! Take in as much sunshine as you can and have a beautiful and blessed Passover and Easter! Until next time!
- 8 baby artichokes
- juice from 2 Meyer lemons (or regular lemons) + thinly sliced peel from one lemon
- ¼ cup chopped basil
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- few sprigs fresh thyme leaves
- dash kosher salt
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus more for after roasting
- your favorite brand aioli
- Heat oven to 425 F.
- In a large bowl, combine juice, herbs, oil, salt.
- Wash and prep artichokes as described above and place each one into the lemon juice mixture to coat.
- Once all the artichokes are prepped, pour them onto a baking sheet.
- Cover the pan with foil and roast for 15 min.
- Uncover and lower heat to 400 and continue to roast for another 15 min.
- Serve with a creamy aioli, or extra lemon herb oil and a dash of kosher salt.