Barbecued Artichokes with Spicy Aioli
Artichokes may be that item everyone claims can’t pair with wine, but the spicy aioli mitigates the choke’s vegetal flavors, with olive oil and butter adding richness. This recipe, which puts a Latin flair on traditional Italian aioli by substituting jalapeños for garlic, is from Joanne Plemmons of Plemmons Catering.
2 roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups mayonnaise
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 whole artichokes
4 lemons, divided
1⁄2 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1 tablespoon salt
1⁄2 cup butter, melted
Make the spicy aioli: Brush jalapeños and tomatoes with olive oil then spinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until tender. Remove stems and then blend in the blender with olive oil until puréed. Mix half of the purée with mayonnaise. Taste, add more purée is necessary. (The other half may be used for salsa).
Prepare artichokes: Trim all of the thorns and peel the stems. Cut in half and remove the hair/chokes. Squeeze lemons into enough water to submerge the chokes. Set the submerged chokes aside.
Cook artichokes: Cut the two remaining lemons into eighths. In a medium-large stock pot add water, lemons segments, white wine, peppercorns and salt and artichokes. Bring to a boil then simmer, 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Remove artichokes from water and drain. Preheat the grill. Brush the artichokes with melted butter and season with seasoning and grill, face down first. Grill approximately 6–8 minutes on each side. Serve half an artichoke per guest along with the spicy aioli. Serves 6.
Wine recommendations: Try this with a rich, spicy Santa Barbara red wine, such as Stolpman 2007 La Croce blend of Sangiovese and Syrah, or with a ripe, oaky Chardonnay, like Rusack 2008 Reserve.