Grilled Artichokes & Roasted Garlic Aioli

One of our favorite places to eat is Cheesecake Factory. Almost everything there is soo good. And really the only reason I say almost is because their menu is so extensive that I haven't actually tried everything! Rob's favorite item on the menu is the fireroasted artichoke. It comes with this aioli that is super delicous and really you're eating tiny bits of artichoke with loads of mayo, so what could be bad about that?

Recently we've been on a quest to perfect our own artichokes at home. This recipe is pretty darn close. We thought they were delicous, along with our eleven dinner guests who gobbled up the entire platter full. There aren't necessarily exact measurements for this so just pour in some olive oil and don't worry about it.

Prepping a fresh artichoke can be a little confusing the first time so I found this video on youtube to help you understand what I'm talking about--check it out if you've never done artichokes before. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOtbrnEZKl4

Grilled Artichokes
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil

Trim the stem of the artichokes, not too far, you don't want it to fall apart. Then trim off the top of the artichoke just to open it up a bit. You just want to cut off the sharp points of the leaves. Rinse the artichokes well. Open p the artichokes a bit and drizzle in plenty of olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar in each artichoke. Toss them in a big pasta pot, cover with water, and sprinkle in spenty of salt. Boil the artichokes about an hour. You'll know to stop cooking when you pull off a leaf and the artichoke is bite-tender. Drain the artichokes and cut them in half. Scoop out the fuzzy purple "choke" in the middle with a spoon--careful not to scoop out the heart with it, that's the best part! Grill the artichokes on your outdoor grill over medium-high heat until they are getting some good grill marks. Serve with roasted garlic aioli.

Roasted Garlic Aioli
6 cloves of garlic
3/4 c. mayo
1/2 tsp lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste
Peel the cloves of garlic and either: A) wrap in foil and roast in the oven at 375 35 minutes OR B) roast in a frying pan with some oilve oil over medium heat turning until the cloves are brown and soft--but not burnt. Smash the roasted garlic with a fork and mix together with all other ingredients. Refrigerate until needed.

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