Monday, April 25, 2011

roasted artichokes with aleppo aioli

despite living in san francisco for nearly four years now and despite everyone telling us that it's beautiful and wonderful and a must visit and despite the fact that it's perfect weekend-getaway distance kris and i only just went to big sur for the first time this past weekend. maybe the push was that we only have two more months here before our move (to atlanta...yep) or maybe it's that we are, for the first time ever, car owners (super weird) but i'm so glad we made it down there. everyone, you were right, big sur is pretty great. we hiked, we cooked over a campfire, drank wine from a box and relaxed along the bank of the big sur river. it was lovely.

when you drive between san francisco and big sur you get to drive through artichoke land! no, i don't recall exactly what town it's in but you will know you're there when you start passing all of the artichoke fields and produce stands. make sure you stop!

in the past i've always hated cooking artichokes...getting to the heart just seems like so much work for not a lot food. but at 10 for $1 i was willing to give it another shot. plus i told myself that baby artichokes are less intimidating. and also i've been dying to recreate the roasted artichokes with aleppo aioli that we had at pause awhile back. thus, we picked out 20 adorable artichoke babies.
and ya know what? it really wasn't so bad! those baby artichokes are a lot less work than the big guys! and i'd say that by the time i got to number 8 i was on a roll and cruising through those puppies. though i certainly wouldn't think i have any useful insight on the matter...if you're looking for a quick, "proper" way to get to the heart of a 'choke i'm sure there are countless internet people who can help you out way better than me. i'm here to tell you about the aleppo aioli! it's cashew based, has five ingredients, is delicious and it's pink. could you ask for more?

aleppo aioli

1 cup cashews, soaked in water for about an hour*
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water (or enough to reach desired consistency)
1 1/2 tablespoons aleppo pepper flakes
pinch of salt to taste

couldn't be easier, place all of your ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend away until nice and creamy and combined. i would recommend adding the pepper gradually to reach your desired spicyness. same with the water, you might need a little more or less.

smear on a plate and plop artichokes on top.

you'll probably have some aioli leftbover to do something else with too. today i spread it on tempeh, coated it with panko and pan fried for some of the crispiest tempeh nuggets i've ever made. highly recommended.

*if you don't have time to soak the cashews no biggie, it just makes them blend up a little easier and a little creamier.


1 comment:

Tessa said...

This looks delicious!