The tangy lemon aioli in this recipe by NOLA chef Donald Link (Cochon, Herbsaint) complements the artichokes and shrimp without overpowering either. This dish, although fabulous on its own as an appetizer, would also be delicious atop a bed of lightly dressed greens or even stuffed inside a crusty roll.
1Bring the water, vinegar, and bay leaves to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in oregano, sugar, salt, red pepper flakes, fennel, and pepper and boil for 1 minute. Add carrots and boil for 2 more minutes. Add mushrooms, jalapeño, and turnips and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
2Toss the cooled mixture with the shrimp in a nonreactive bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours.
For the artichokes:
1Using a paring knife, prepare the artichokes by trimming away the tough, dark green, inedible leaves, moving around the outside of the artichoke with the knife until the light green center is exposed (you will be cutting away a lot of the leaves). Trim around the base of the artichoke to remove the stubs of the leaves and create a smooth surface. Cut off the top of the artichoke about 1/2 inch above the base (heart). Trim the stem about 3/4 inch from the heart and, using a paring knife or vegetable peeler, remove the tough dark green skin from the stem. Repeat with the remaining artichokes.
2Place the artichoke hearts in the smallest pot they will fit in that allows them to sit side by side (not on top of each other). Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes, or until you can pierce the hearts with a paring knife. Once cooked, remove the artichokes from the liquid and allow them to cool to room temperature. Remove the choke center with a spoon or paring knife, then cut away any tough pieces remaining. Cut each heart in half vertically, then each half into four pieces, and set aside.
For the lemon aioli:
1Combine egg yolk, lemon juice, mustard, zest, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor. Purée until smooth. With the blender or food processor running, slowly drizzle in the oil until the mixture is emulsified. Refrigerate until ready to use.
1Place the shrimp and artichokes in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the aioli and stir to combine. Add more aioli by the tablespoon if necessary to just coat the shrimp and artichokes. Reserve any remaining aioli for another use.
Recipe provided by Chef Donald Link, author of Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link’s Louisiana.