Photograph by Stacey Mark Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Theo Vamvounakis

Artichoke with Avocado Basil Dip

Amuse-Bouche from Issue 7 – Summer 2015 – Spectrum

There are more shades of green discernible to the human eye than any other color, and in our amuse you will find a miniature spectrum expressed by way of avocado, artichoke, basil, and Chartreuse.

serves 4

  • 4 large artichokes
  • 1 or 2 lemons
  • 1 ripe avocado, chopped
  • ¼ cup loosely packed basil
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1

    Fill a large pot half-full with lightly salted water and bring to a simmer. While the water comes to a boil, trim off stems from the artichokes so they can sit upright. Pull off the tough outer leaves. Cut one inch off from the top of each artichoke. If the leaves are pointy, snip tips off with a scissor. Rub the cut surfaces with a lemon half to prevent discoloring, then add the lemon half to the boiling water. Simmer the artichokes with a plate or lid resting on them to keep them submerged. Simmer until the bottoms are tender when pierced with a small sharp knife, about 25-30 minutes.

  • 2

    While artichokes cook, squeeze 2 Tbsp juice from the other lemon half (use additional lemon if needed). Add juice to a blender along with the avocado, basil, ½ cup water, ¼ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper. Blend until smooth. With the blender running, slowly pour in the oil until combined. Add a Tbsp or two more water to thin mixture to the consistency of a light mayonnaise.

  • 3

    Drain the tender artichokes. Wait until cool enough to handle. Loosen the leaves with your fingers and scoop out the small center leaves and fuzz with a melon baller or spoon to form a well in the center of each artichoke.

  • 4

    Serve artichokes warm or room temperature with sauce poured in the center for dipping.