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Charred Artichokes with Smoky Lemon Aioli
- 4 large globe artichokes, stems trimmed
- Vegetable oil, for the grill or skillet
- 1 Cup aioli or good-quality store-bought mayonnaise
- 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 2 Tablespoons drained capers, chopped
- 1 Teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2 Teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 Teaspoon smoked sea salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon smoked paprika
- Hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Crystal, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
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Charring artichokes gives them a smoky aroma, and a simple lemon aioli is the perfect accompaniment to this easy-to-make appetizer that will have your guests coming back for more. Try this recipe with baby artichokes, too; just be sure to adjust the cooking times appropriately.
Set a steamer basket in a large pot with a lid, fill with 1 inch of water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Set the artichokes stem end down in the basket, cover, and steam until a knife meets no resistance when it pierces the stem of an artichoke, 20-25 minutes. Slice the artichokes in half lengthwise.
Heat a well-oiled grill or cast-iron skillet. Add the artichokes, cut side down, on the hot surface and let sit until they are slightly blackened. (Charred or just steamed, the artichokes can be served warm or slightly chilled.)
Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, whisk the aioli, dill, capers, lemon zest and juice, sea salt, and paprika until well combined. Add the hot sauce, season with black pepper, to taste, and stir.
To serve, arrange the artichokes in 4 salad plates, and divide the aioli mixture among small bowls for dipping.