Ingredients for Artichokes:
4 c. Mild or Medium EVOO
6 fresh artichokes
hearty pinch of salt and pepper
Ingredients for Aioli:
2 tsp. Mild/Medium EVOO
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 tsp. Italian Herbs Balsamic
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 Tbsp. fresh basil chopped, plus extra for garnish
lemon wedges, for garnish
Heat oil in a large pot or deep fryer over medium high heat. Cut artichoke stems and trim off about 4 layers of hard outer leaves. Cut the artichokes in half and using a spoon, remove the center "fluffy" choke. Once the oil reaches 350 F, carefully place artichokes in hot oil (working in batches if necessary). Fry artichokes for 15 minutes or until deep golden and crisp. Remove fried artichoke from the oil and set aside to drain on a wire rack. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tsp. oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add minced garlic and saute' until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer garlic and any residual oil to a medium bowl. Add mayonnaise, balsamic, lemon juice, and basil to the bowl with the garlic and whisk until blended. Divide artichokes between plates or display on a platter. Serve with aioli dip on the side and garnish with shopped basil and lemon wedges.
serves 4 - 6