Artichokes are some of my favorite vegetables in the Spring.  When selecting your artichokes, look for the ones with tightly packed leaves.  Fava may be a bit more challenging to find, but if you have access to an Italian grocer, you may get lucky.  You could use frozen lima beans as well as a substitute or just serve with peas or on their own.  If you are not accustomed to cleaning the artichokes, I have provided some instructions below, but there are also many you tube videos available.  For this recipe, I left the artichokes whole so be prepared to get your fingers involved! You can pick the leaves from the outside to the center as you dip the tender inner part of the leaves in the aioli. I like to boil the artichokes first, then roast afterward with the crumb topping for delicious flavor and a lovely presentation.

Ingredients:

for artichokes:

  • 4 large artichokes
  • fresh squeezed lemon juice to prevent browning
  • 1 cup pako
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, plus extra leaves for garnish
  • 1 cup cleaned fava beans
  • fresh squeezed lemon
  • kosher slt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling

for aioli:

  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  •  coarse kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to  taste
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  •  lemon juice from 1/2 of lemon
  • 2 teaspoons minced parsley

Directions:

To prepare the artichokes, trim the fresh artichokes by cutting off the bottom of the stem and then with a sharp knife cut off the top inch (about 1/3) of the artichoke.  Remove the most outer leaves around the base of the artichokes and cut the tops of any leaves that are pointy.  Using a spoon (a grapefruit spoon with a serrated edge works best) to hollow out the “choke” in the middle of each artichoke (this looks like small hairs in the center) as well as some of the inner leaves and discard.  Separate the leaves a bit with your fingers and squeeze some fresh lemon juice in between the leaves and rub the center with some lemon (to help prevent browning). .

Fill a large saucepan with several inches of water, and place artichokes stem side down in the pan.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover  and steam artichokes for 20 minutes. Add fava beans during last 5 minutes of steaming.

While artichokes are steaming, preheat oven to 375.  In a small saucepan, on low, heat butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add panko and a bit of salt and pepper.  Toast panko for about 5 minutes tossing frequently until golden brown and toasting evenly. Remove from heat and toss in fresh parsley and parmesan.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Drain artichokes and fava in a colander.  Place artichokes on the baking sheet, cut-side up.  Divide panko mixture evenly amongst the artichokes by separating leaves with your fingers and allowing mixture to fall in between, including the center.  Drizzle with a bit of additional olive oil.  Set baking sheet in middle rack of oven and roast for 15-20 minutes.

Combine all ingredients for Aioli.  To serve place roasted artichokes on large plater with aioli alongside.  Garnish with additional olive oil, the fava, parsley and a squeeze of lemon.  Enjoy!