At its very best from June to November, artichoke has a wonderfully, nutty flavour that makes for a deliciously summery snack when dipped into homemade aïoli.
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Cut the artichokes in half vertically and, using a teaspoon, scoop out the fibrous choke (the inedible centre) to expose the heart.
- Boil the artichokes for 20-25 minutes, until the base of the heart is tender (and feels like a cooked potato). Remove from the water with a slotted spoon, then drain well. Meanwhile, for the aïoli, combine the mayonnaise, garlic and half the lemon zest and the lemon juice and in a small bowl; season. Garnish with the remaining lemon zest and black pepper.
- Preheat a griddle pan over a high heat. Put the melted butter in a small bowl. Using the rosemary like a brush, dip it in the butter and sweep it over the artichokes and lemon wedges. Griddle the artichokes, cut-side down, and the lemons for 4-5 minutes, until lightly charred (you may have to do this in batches). Serve the artichokes on a platter with the aïoli (for dipping the leaves and heart) and lemon wedges for squeezing over.
Tip: For a great summer starter, try cooking the boiled artichokes on the barbecue.
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