Crispy Baby Artichokes with Lemon Aïoli
The Tasting Room at Lola, Dallas, TX
At the reception for his Beard House dinner last July, David Uygur could barely get these baby artichokes out of the fryer before they were gobbled up. Deep-fried to a light golden crisp and served with a tangy mayonnaise, this hors d’oeuvre was the hit of the night.
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- Juice and minced zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup peanut or canola oil
- 16 baby artichokes
- Juice of 1/2 lemon or 2 tablespoons vinegar
- Peanut oil, for deep frying
- Sea salt
To make the aïoli, whisk together the egg yolks, mustard, garlic, and lemon juice and zest in a medium bowl. While whisking, add the oil in a slow, steady stream. Continue whisking until emulsified. Season with salt and more lemon juice to taste. Refrigerate until serving.
To make the artichokes, fill a large nonreactive bowl with cold water and add the lemon juice. Pare off the tough outer leaves of the artichokes, trim the tops, and cut them in half. Soak in the acidulated water until ready to fry, no more than 30 minutes.
In a deep fryer, heat the peanut oil to 325°F. Pat the artichoke halves dry with a towel and fry them for 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender and starting to color. Remove artichokes to drain on paper towels. Raise the fryer temperature to between 350°F and 360°F. Fry the artichokes until golden and crispy. Season with sea salt and serve immediately with the chilled lemon aïoli.