Artichoke Hearts with Cucumber Aioli

Artichoke Hearts with Cucumber Aioli

Aïoli is a traditional garlic mayonnaise that blows store-bought mayo out of the water. A tip for success: Be sure your ingredients and cooking tools are at room temperature before beginning.

Ingredients Directions

For the aïoli

4 garlic cloves, finely minced to the consistency of a paste
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium cucumber
2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley

For the artichoke hearts

3 (9-ounce) boxes frozen artichoke hearts
2 garlic cloves, crushed

Prepare the aïoli

Combine the garlic, egg yolks, mustard, salt, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice in a food processor or blender. Process for 30 seconds. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil through the feed tube, a few drops at a time to start. Continue to slowly add the oil in a fine stream until it has been incorporated and the aïoli is thoroughly blended and has thickened. It will be slightly thinner than commercial mayonnaise. Adjust salt and lemon juice to taste.

(If the aïoli separates, don’t panic—it’s easily salvageable: Put a single egg yolk in a separate bowl, allow it to come to room temperature, and then whisk the separated aïoli into it, a little at a time, to re-emulsify the sauce.) 

Peel the cucumber, seed it, and cut it into cubes. Pulse the cukes in the food processor or blender. Pour the pureed cuke into a fine-meshed sieve and press on it with your fingers or the back of a spoon to thoroughly drain the liquid. Gently fold 1/4 cup of the cucumber puree and the chopped parsley into the aïoli.

Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

Prepare the artichoke hearts

Blanch the hearts by dropping them into a pot of generously salted, boiling water with the crushed garlic cloves. Cook for about 4 minutes. Immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice water until they’re no longer warm. Pat dry with paper towels. If necessary, cut into bite-size pieces.

Serve the aïoli in a bowl next to the artichoke hearts with toothpicks on the side.

Makes about 50 pieces and about 1 cup of aioli

Make-Ahead Factor

The artichoke hearts can be prepared up to 2 days ahead and kept covered and refrigerated. The aïoli can be made up to 3 days ahead and kept covered and refrigerated.

From Cocktail Parties, Straight Up! Easy Hors D'oeuvres, Delicious Drinks and Inspired Ideas for Entertaining with Style by Lauren and Anne Purcell.