Grilled Baby Artichokes with Brown Butter Aïoli

A delicious grilled appetizer or side for those spring gatherings.

Grilled Baby Artichokes with Brown Butter Aïoli
Photo: Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Christine Keely
Cook Time:
15 mins
Active Time:
35 mins
Grill Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs

One of our favorite things about cooking on the grill is that simplicity often yields the best results. Most cuts of meat only require a simple seasoning of salt and pepper to really shine, and in this recipe, vegetables get the same treatment. Grilled vegetables make a stunning BBQ starter, and we have a feeling that this recipe for Grilled Baby Artichokes with Brown Butter Aïoli will knock your socks off.

Baby artichokes are so much easier to prep than their larger counterparts. There's no need to scoop out the choke, and there are far fewer tough leaves to remove. Blanching the artichokes first before grilling them ensures they'll be tender.

Homemade mayo, which gets a nutty boost from brown butter and a pungent kick from fresh garlic, makes a lovely accompaniment for these grilled baby artichokes. The artichokes can be made ahead of time and reheated, but the aioli should be made right before serving—time spent in the fridge will cause the butter in the aioli to resolidify.


  • ½ cup unsalted butter

  • 1 lemon, halved crosswise, divided

  • 12 fresh baby artichokes

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 large garlic clove, grated (½ tsp.)

  • 5 tablespoons canola oil, divided

  • ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt


  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until butter is well browned and deeply fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Pour butter into a spouted measuring cup, and let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, squeeze 1 of the lemon halves into a large bowl of cold water. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, cut off and discard top ½ inch of artichoke. Cut off and discard stem to within 1 inch of base; peel trimmed stem using a vegetable peeler. Remove bottom leaves and tough outer leaves, letting tender hearts and bottoms remain. Cut trimmed artichoke in half lengthwise; rub cut sides with remaining lemon half. Place in bowl with lemon water. Repeat process with other artichokes. Set aside until ready to use.

  3. Preheat grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high. Drain artichokes. Add to boiling water, and cook until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain well, and pat dry. Set aside.

  4. Place egg, lemon juice, mustard, kosher salt, and garlic in a mini food processor; pulse until well combined, about 15 pulses. With processor running, slowly drizzle in cooled butter and 3 tablespoons of the oil, processing until creamy and emulsified, about 1 minute. Spoon aïoli into a bowl; set aside until ready to serve.

  5. Gently toss together artichokes and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a bowl to coat. Place artichokes on unoiled grates; grill, covered, until well marked, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Arrange artichokes on a platter; sprinkle evenly with flaky salt. Serve alongside aïoli.

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