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Baked artichokes with Aioli sauce

Artichokes are vegetables with a unique texture and flavor, originating from the Mediterranean region and traditionally used in Italian, French, and Greek cuisine. Besides being tasty, artichokes are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, folic acid, and vitamin C, making them beneficial for digestive and immune health. The preparation of artichokes involves removing the tough, inedible parts, after which they can be boiled, stewed, roasted, or used in various recipes. If you enjoy food with unusual tastes, artichokes are the perfect choice for you.

I love this recipe because not much is added to the artichokes besides good olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. The taste of the artichokes really shines through, especially when paired with a delicious sauce.

When I prepare artichokes this way, I always pair them with an Aioli sauce, but a “fake” version. Aioli is a typical Mediterranean sauce that is often compared to mayonnaise. It’s more special than mayonnaise due to the addition of garlic, mustard, and lemon juice, and the preparation is especially important as you need to be patient and skilled so that the ingredients don’t separate. To skip the “stress” of making the sauce, I always prepare a fake Aioli that I love. It’s simple, full of flavor, especially if you love garlic, and trust me, you wouldn’t notice the difference.

Ingredients and preparation steps

For the artichokes:

  • 4 artichokes
  • 3 lemons
  • olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic

For the sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Remove the outer woody leaves from the artichokes, cut off the stems and sharp tips. The stem is just as delicious as the artichoke, so don’t throw it away, but bake it with the artichokes.

Cut off the top of the artichoke, about half a centimeter from the top, and cut it in half, then immediately sprinkle it with lemon juice to prevent oxidation. Remove the dry, “hairy” part of the flower from the center of the head.

Place the artichokes in a baking dish on which you have placed baking paper, drizzle each half of the artichoke with olive oil and place on each one half a clove of garlic and a slice of lemon. Close the baking dish well on all sides with aluminum foil and bake for 15-20 minutes at 200 °C; let the artichokes bake covered so that they remain juicy. Then remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes.

While the artichokes are baking, make the sauce. Finely chop the garlic, place it in a small bowl, then add the juice of one lemon and mayonnaise. Add salt and mix everything well. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Serve the warm artichokes with the sauce and enjoy the flavors, one leaf at a time.