Crispy Baby Artichokes with Balsamic Aioli

Written by chanie on May 8th, 2013


I’ve had a lot of foodie firsts in the past couple of months. Trying new foods like Pad Thai and Dhal, and cooking things I’ve always dreamed of making from scratch like duck confit and handmade pasta. Having the opportunity to explore and expand my culinary horizons has made me throw all my inhibitions out the kitchen window. Now, instead of walking away from ingredients I’m not familiar with, I embrace them. Which is exactly how THIS amazing recipe happened.

Believe it or not, I’d never even heard of an artichoke before I married my husband. My mother in law is sephardic, so she prepares lots of stuffed vegetable dishes like mehshie, and stuffed artichokes. I decided I didn’t like them before I even tried, and that was it. Me and Mr. Artichoke were estranged. Until now. 

It was a Wednesday. April 10th to be exact, and I picked up the New York Times so I could read the Dining section over coffee. And right there in front of me was an article about “Making Big Plans for Small Artichokes”. I’d never even known there was such as a thing as baby artichokes. So I figured, If the big ones scare me away, why not tackle the little guys. Turns out, the little ones are not that little after all, but I was warming up. The recipes looked deliciously inviting, and so, I couldn’t help but pick up a package of baby artichokes when I saw them in the produce aisle. I also love cooking seasonally, so I was up for the challenge.

Anything breaded and crispy with a dipping sauce is right up my alley, so I decided to go that route. It was also my daughters birthday, and I figured these little guys would make for a perfect appetizer at our small little family party. It was great to serve them up to some criticism (“They’re a little tender, cook them longer next time” or “The bread crumbs are a little too dark, toast ’em less next time” and “What’s in this dipping sauce, it’s amazing!”) so I could learn to perfect them for you guys.

I hope my step by step tutorial helps you all embrace this humble vegetable, as I have. There’s a little prep work involved, but trust me, it’s worth the effort!

1 year ago: spinach, walnut & cheddar pesto
2 years ago: banana, dates, milk & honey smoothie

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18 Comments so far ↓

  1. Elise Abecassis says:

    Love your recipes and especially the step-by-step pictures.
    Keep at it ☺

  2. Hindy says:

    I love baby artichokes! So glad that you conquered your artichoke fear!

  3. great recipe! i remember seeing similar fried artichokes everywhere in Rome, theyre quite popular there.

  4. Ronnie Fein says:

    I had something like this in the Jewish restaurant in Rome, Italy. So, so delicious.

  5. I love artichokes in all forms. My husband had never had artichokes before we got married and I do my best to correct that deficiency in his early culinary life every chance I have.

  6. I also love any food that is paired with a dipping sauce. This looks amazing!

  7. FANTASTIC RECIPE !!!! Thank you!!!

  8. I love artichokes! This looks so yummy!

  9. stephanie says:

    artichokes are my favorite!!! i have to make these. now!

  10. I can’t believe artichokes are new to you!!! That is unbelievable and while I love them in any recipe, these look to die for. thanks for sharing.

  11. Artichokes scare me as well – perhaps now is a good time to conquer my fear!

  12. Briana says:

    Looks amazing! I want to make these but can I make them without the cheese to have them pareve? What can I substitute? Thanks!

  13. stanp says:

    Can you use frozen artichokes or in jar ?

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