June 28, 2008

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 21

Did someone say artichokes?

Because, I think I might like those. Let me see...

Oh yes. They are, indeed, delicious.

I grew up dipping them in mayo, but if you want to look slightly more sophisticated, you could try a homemade aioli, thanks to Orangette. Yum. Just don't feed the aioli to the baby. She likes the plain artichoke just fine.

Recipe for the aioli after the jump.

Meyer Lemon Aioli
Adapted from Bon Appétit, April 2008

1 medium garlic clove
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp. Meyer lemon juice (though I just used regular lemon juice. I'm a rebel)
¼ tsp. champagne or white wine vinegar (I used vinegar)
Heaping ¼ tsp. Dijon mustard (I used fancy mustard we had in the house. It wasn't as creamy as dijon, but I think the mustard seeds made it more interesting.)
½ tsp. salt, or to taste
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
Zest of 1 medium Meyer (regular works!) lemon, or to taste

If you have a garlic press, press the garlic clove. If you do not have a garlic press, mince the clove finely; then sprinkle it with a pinch of salt and smash it a bit with the side of your knife, so that it softens to a dense paste.

In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, egg yolk, Meyer lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and salt. Whisk briefly, until the mixture is bright yellow and well blended, about 15 to 30 seconds.

Now, start adding the oil. It is absolutely crucial that you add it very slowly. For the first ¼ cup, add it impossibly slowly – only a few drops at a time – and whisk constantly. Make sure that each addition of oil is fully incorporated before you add any more. (Your arm will get tired, yes, but don’t worry; you can stop to rest as often as you need to.) As the oil is incorporated, the mixture should begin to lighten in color and develop body, thickening tiny bit by tiny bit.

After you have added the first ¼ cup oil, you can increase the speed at which you add it, pouring it in a thin, continuous stream, whisking constantly. Stop every now and then, if you need to, to put down the measuring cup, whisk well, and make sure that the oil is fully incorporated. The mixture should continue to thicken, and by the time you have added all the oil, it should be pale yellow (or yellowy-green, depending on the color of your olive oil), silky and thick. Whisk in the Meyer lemon zest. Taste, and adjust seasoning - vinegar, salt, zest - as needed.

Serve immediately, or cover and chill for up to three days.

Note: For safety’s sake, raw egg is not recommended for infants (I told you!), pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems. To avoid the risk of salmonella, buy your eggs from a reputable source, and take care when separating the yolks and whites, so that the contents of the egg do not come in contact with the outer part of the shell. Or use pasteurized egg yolk instead.

Yield: about ¾ cup, or enough for at least four artichoke eaters

Posted by sarah at June 28, 2008 10:55 AM

um, question. do you cook artichoke before you eat it? or... i've never heard of eating it. just like that. every time i've ever had it, it comes out of a can and is immediately mixed with spinach and cream cheese to form a dip. please, lisa. educate me!!!

Posted by: stace on June 28, 2008 03:04 PM

I'm only resisting asking you to remove those pictures of me looking like a complete goofus because Nora looks so cute. That's a mother's love for you, people.

Posted by: lisa on July 1, 2008 08:30 AM
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