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Whole Steamed Artichokes with lemons and bowl of Harissa Aioli

Whole Steamed Artichokes with Harissa Aioli


Recipe by Sarah Copeland @edibleliving

Peeling artichokes and getting them ready for a warm steam bath always sounds harder than it actually is. In fact, the short steam time here makes up for any time you’ll spend prepping this beautiful spring offering for your family and friends.

Go the extra mile and make yolky aioli from scratch for an irresistible dipping sauce. Heat lovers will enjoy the stir-in of harissa, or you can swap it out for extra lemon zest if you prefer less spice.


For the artichokes:
4 medium artichokes (about 12 ounces each) 1 lemon, halved, and zest if you’re swapping in a lemon aioli
Coarse salt

For the harissa aioli:
1 large egg
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
½ cup canola oil or light olive oil
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil 
Coarse salt
1 to 2 tablespoons harissa paste, or to taste


1.    Prepare the artichokes: Snap off the tough outer leaves of one artichoke. Using a serrated knife, cut off the top third of the artichoke. Snip the remaining sharp or spiny leaves with kitchen shears and discard. Trim the bottom so the artichoke stands upright on its stem. Rub all surfaces with lemon. Repeat with the remaining artichokes.

2.    Set a steamer basket in a large pot filled with enough water to reach just beneath the basket without touching it. Squeeze some lemon juice into the water and add 1 tablespoon of coarse salt. Bring the water to a boil, then place the artichokes in the basket, stem side up. Cover the pot and steam the artichokes, adding more water to the pot as needed, until the hearts are tender to the tip of a paring knife and the outer leaves pull out easily, 25 to 30 minutes.

3.    When the artichokes are cool enough to handle, quarter them and remove the chokes.

4.    Meanwhile, make the harissa aioli: Place the egg, garlic, and lemon juice in the bottom of a small blender or an immersion blender cup. While blending, slowly pour in the canola oil until the mixture is completely emulsified and smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and slowly drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil, whisking constantly until the aioli is smooth and thick.

5.    Stir in 1 tablespoon of the harissa until loosely combined with some streaks remaining. Taste and add more harissa, if desired. Serve with the warm artichokes.