Globe artichokes are in season and a finger-licking, satisfying meal all by themselves.  They look superb on a plate, paired with smoked garlic mayonnaise as a yummy dip.

You can go about this in two ways – the quick mid-week supper route (buy a pot of the Garlic Farm’s mayonnaise and a bulb of their smoked garlic, combine the two. Boil the artichokes for about 40 minutes or until leaves come away easily. Serve) or you can take the serious chef route, making your own mayonnaise and BBQ’ing your artichoke for a spectacular showpiece alfresco supper. You can also combine the two routes choosing whatever appeals to you.

Making your own mayonnaise takes about 10 minutes, either hand whisking or in a blender.  You simply cannot beat homemade mayo, and it’s worth making extra as you can use it for wonderful sauces for fish, veg or meat, in potato salad, or convert to aioli, just as you would normal mayo.  The trick is patience right at the beginning of the process, combining small drizzles of oil until it begins to thicken.

This recipe comes from the Great British Chefs Website and is ideal with a Big Green Egg or Kamado-style BBQ.

  1. Preheat the barbecue to around 100°C, then add a few wood chunks to the coals. Set up the barbecue for indirect cooking, then place the grate above the heat deflector. Close the lid and allow the barbecue to fill with smoke
  2. Put the garlic bulb on the grate, close the lid and leave to smoke for 1 hour. It should be soft, golden and smoky when ready. Remove from the barbecue and increase the temperature to 200°C, removing the heat deflectors and cooking grate
  3. To prepare the artichokes, remove the stem and drizzle the artichokes with oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and rub the seasoning into the artichoke, getting in between the leaves as much as possible
  4. Wrap the artichokes tightly in kitchen foil, then place in amongst the coals in the barbecue. Cook for 45 minutes, or until the outer leaves of the artichoke can be easily pulled away from the stem (cooking times will vary depending on the size of the artichoke)
  5. Meanwhile, make the smoked garlic mayonnaise. Pop the cloves of the garlic out of their skins into a blender, and add the egg yolk, Dijon mustard and a good pinch of salt. Blitz until combined and smooth. Add a little olive oil and blend again (it’s important to get the emulsion working early on – if you add the oil too quickly it won’t emulsify and you’ll be left with an oily mixture)
  6. Add the oil very gradually in small amounts, blending well each time until the mixture thickens noticeably – at this stage, you can add the oil more liberally. When all the oil is used up, balance the seasoning with lemon juice and more salt. You can also let down the mayonnaise with a little water if you want it to have a looser consistency
  7. When the artichokes are tender, remove from the foil and open the leaves up a little. Finish on the barbecue (either halved or whole) for a pleasantly smoky flavour, then add a little more seasoning if needed