Tarragon-Lemon Aioli Served with Grilled Artichokes Recipe on Food52 (2024)

Make Ahead

by: dymnyno



2 Ratings

  • Serves 4

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Author Notes

Freddy and I spent a few of our favorite trips touring the countryside of Sicily. The artichoke, which is usually identified with California, is actually from Sicily. This is my effort at making a a delicious aioli to dip wonderful, grilled California artichokes when they're in season. I used large globe artichokes for this recipe; if you are lucky, you will find artichokes with a couple inches of the stalk attached...this makes a fomidable presentation. Note: I like to make my aioli ahead of time. —dymnyno

Test Kitchen Notes

These smoky, bewitching artichoke cross-sections are an ideal kickoff to any warm weather supper. Boiling then grilling both speeds up the cooking time and renders much more of the leaf tender enough to eat with knife and fork than mere steaming -- and you'll want to eat as much as you can, if only as an excuse to keep dipping into dymnyno's rich, feisty aioli. —Kristen Miglore

  • Test Kitchen-Approved

What You'll Need

  • For the grilled artichokes
  • 4 large globe artichokes
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 3/4 cupolive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • For the tarragon-lemon aioli:
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 fresh egg yolks (at room temperature)
  • 1 cupolive oil
  • 1 tablespoonfresh tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoonsea salt
  • 1 teaspoonfresh lemon juice
  1. For the grilled artichokes
  2. Trim the artichokes: Remove all the tough outer leaves and then, with a very sharp knife, cut off the top of the choke (about an inch) to remove the sharp tips. If you are lucky enough to have a artichoke with stalk, peel the stalk with a vegetable peeler.
  3. Cut the choke in half lengthwise. With a spoon, scoop out the hairy choke, but be careful not to remove the heart. Put the chokes in a bowl with some lemon juice so they do not turn brown.
  4. Heat your grill to high. In a pot of water, squeeze half of the lemon. Add the chokes and simmer for about 15 minutes until they are tender. You can also steam them, if you prefer. Remove the chokes from the water and drain.
  5. Mix together the oil and garlic, then brush the mixture on the artichokes and place them on the hot grill.
  6. Continue to brush the chokes with the garlic-oil mixture and keep turning them so that they do not burn. After a few minutes, remove them from the grill. Sprinkle with a little sea salt.
  1. For the tarragon-lemon aioli:
  2. Place the tarragon leaves, garlic cloves, and salt in a clean mortar. (I always fill mine with hot water, pour it out, and dry it before using.)
  3. Begin pounding with the pestle until the ingredients start to form an emulsion. This will take several minutes.
  4. Add the egg yolks and continue to mix with the pestle.
  5. When the egg yolks are incorporated, SLOWLY start to add the olive oil a few drops at a time; this will start to emulsify.
  6. When all the olive oil has been added and you have a beautiful green mayonnaise, add the lemon juice and incorporate it into the emulsion. Then let it refrigerate and rest for a while.
  7. This is the dipping sauce for the artichokes, and it should be made ahead of time. It's also good on a lot of other vegetables (like grilled fennel).


  • American
  • Clove
  • Lemon
  • Lemon Juice
  • Tarragon
  • Vegetable
  • Artichoke
  • Make Ahead
  • Serves a Crowd
  • Outdoor Entertaining
  • Spring
  • Vegetarian
Contest Entries
  • Your Best Artichoke Recipe
  • Your Best Use of Aioli
  • Your Best Grilled Vegetable Dish

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kaite

  • em-i-lis

  • wssmom

  • nogaga

  • dymnyno

21 Reviews

Kaite October 22, 2020

My first attempt at cooking artichokes and my first time eating fresh ones. I've only had jarred and hate them. This was a great success! I have chili onion crisp from Trader Joes that I drizzled on them after I pulled them off the grill. so good!

Francoise May 23, 2016

Oh, PS-- for those who don't have a mortar and pestle handy, you can make the sauce by putting the garlic, egg yolks, a few spoons of oil, the tarragon and the salt in a basic standing blender and blend, then drizzle in the remaining oil slowly as the machine blends, then the lemon juice. It will emulsify.

LittleMissMuffin March 22, 2022

Mine did not emulsify. Now what do I do? Wasted a whole cup of oil....

LittleMissMuffin March 22, 2022

I started with a new egg yolk and slowly whisked in the other mixture *by hand this time*. It was emulsifying, so I streamed in a bit more and now it's thin again. Do you need to go drop by drop the entire time?

Francoise May 23, 2016

I made this over the weekend. The artichoke prep and cooking was spot-on. No sogginess if you cook for the 15 minutes stated and lay to drain on paper towels and let cool before grilling.
But olive oil is something I use sparingly, especially with simple veggies. Using a whole cup in this recipe (and I used a very high quality organic oil) simply made the sauce too strong and overpowered the tarragon and lemon. So I actually remade the sauce using mostly canola oil and a little bit of olive oil. So much better and cleaner tasting, the earthy artichoke and sweet tarragon flavors came through much better. I also increased the lemon juice slightly.
I made a double recipe and there were a few halves left over-- both the artichokes and the second version sauce tasted even better after sitting for a few hours. I've already been asked to make these for this weekend again.

em-i-lis February 18, 2015

How have I never seen this recipe? It looks amazing!

Scored a couple of lovely artichokes and this is for dinner tonight! YUM!

dymnyno May 25, 2011

I hope you love it!

wssmom June 2, 2011

It was LOVELY!!

nogaga May 25, 2011

This looks just delicious... Tarragon is such a great herb for aioli. Plus, GORGEOUS mortar! It almost looks like you got it from the primeval jungle.

dymnyno May 25, 2011

Thanks...tarragon is one of my favorite herbs. The mortar belonged to my great grandmother.

dymnyno May 24, 2011


gingerroot May 24, 2011

I love this! Artichokes and aioli = perfect pair. I'm looking forward to trying this.

karinbn May 24, 2010

I tried grilling some artichokes last night, following your recipe. I had never had grilled artichokes before and I liked the grilled flavor. When I took them out of the pot after simmering them though, they seemed kind of waterlogged. When I grilled them, a lot of the moisture did evaporate out, but not quite as much as I would have liked. I think next time I will steam the artichokes rather than simmering them. Haven't tried the aioli yet, but it looks lovely.

coffeefoodwrite May 17, 2010

This looks yummy! I make a grilled artichoke which is sort of similar -- but I just throw all the ingredients (half a lemon, bulb of garlic cut in half, couple of swirls of olive oil) in the water when boiling. I love your idea of brushing continuously with the olive oil/garlic mixture -- it must be absolutely delicious. I'm looking forward to trying this! (The aioli looks great too!)

arielleclementine May 5, 2010

this sounds perfect :)

Kitchen B. May 5, 2010

I've never cooked artichokes..............Love the sound of the aioli with lemon.....on veggies. and chicken. Heaven

solmstea May 5, 2010

This sounds good, but I'm really in awe of that mortar! How beautiful!

dymnyno May 5, 2010

Thanks! I have a great collection of mortors and pestles.

drbabs May 4, 2010


dymnyno May 4, 2010

thanks...the sauce is really delic...I am having it with grilled fennel tonight...made basically the same method as the chokes.

Tarragon-Lemon Aioli Served with Grilled Artichokes Recipe on Food52 (2024)
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