Thursday, March 24, 2011

Roasted Artichokes with Lemon Mayonnaise

My roommate takes a near-weekly trip to Wilson Farms outside the city and is always coming home with great deals on beautiful looking produce.  Last time I put in a request for a few interesting vegetables.  She brought me home some lovely little artichokes.  Just the week before I watched enviously as she made some for herself...  and grilled them!  My mind, it was blown.  Grilling them, even briefly, imparts a lovely complexity and hint of smokiness to their flavor that is just delightful.

Grilled Artichokes
- First, clean up the artichokes by trimming the stem, snipping off the points, and pulling off a few of the outer leaves.
- Cook the artichokes in boiling water for 15-20 minutes, until you can easily pierce the skin with a fork.
- Remove them from the water.  When they are cool enough to handle, cut them in half and scoop out the choke.
- Heat up a grill pan (or a grill).
- Optionally rub the artichokes with a little olive oil, then place them on the grill.
- Turn them once after they've developed a nice sear.

Normally I like artichokes with butter, but I've been looking for an excuse to try making mayonnaise and I thought it would compliment the hint of smokiness well.

Homemade Mayonnaise
- Start with 1 egg yolk *at room temperature*
- Measure out 1/2 cup oil.  You can use canola, olive oil, or just about anything else you'd cook with depending on the flavor you want.
- Start by mixing in teaspoon of oil and whisk vigorously until smooth.  Continue adding it about a teaspoon at a time.
- The mixture should start to thicken and lighten.   Keep adding oil until it is the thickness you prefer.
- Towards the end, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt, a couple grinds of black pepper, and a teaspoon of lemon juice.  You could also add some zest for a little extra kick.

Let me tell you, homemade mayonnaise is pretty tasty.  It should keep a week or so in the refrigerator.  Needless to say, it has raw eggs in it so be sure to use the freshest you can find.


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