Buttery Pan-Seared Artichokes with Ponzu Aioli


Buttery Pan-Seared Artichokes with Ponzu Aioli

Words usually flow pretty easily for me in this space. I just write like I’m having a conversation with you, like you’re here just chilling with me, sitting on my couch looking around my apartment, being nosey as shit. But today I’m kind of wordless. I’m a little mopey.

A strange heatwave has come through Los Angeles, making it kind of dreadful, honestly, and worst of all, Amelia is sick. She has a bit of a stomach flu that I’m trying to cure with brown rice. I’m hoping she sleeps it off. The psycho in me keeps checking her stomach while she sleeps, making sure it’s rising and falling. I have a feeling I’m going to be one of those crazy mothers who wakes up in the middle of the night to check and make sure the kids are still breathing. It’s a mama thing, I bet.

Today we have artichokes, which if I’m trying to make a good little segue, take a bit of mothering. At least in the beginning anyway. The whole act of cutting and trimming an artichoke is super easy, though I imagine even the most experienced cooks have to google it to be reminded exactly what needs to be done. There’s kind of a lot tasks, man!

Buttery Pan-Seared Artichokes with Ponzu Aioli

Buttery Pan-Seared Artichokes with Ponzu Aioli

Here’s the breakdown:

1. Trim the top.
2. Trim the stem.
3. Peel the stem, if you like. VERY optional.
4. Using scissors, trim the points off of each petal.
5. Cut in half and remove the center. It’ll be furry and strange.
6. Dat’s it.

After that it’s smooth sailing. I started off with boiling them (I don’t have a steam basket) in a mix of salted water, bay leaf, garlic and a lemon rind.

It’s not grilling season yet so I opted to finish these dudes in the pan with a quick sear in butter; and the butter was practically brown, so browned butter. Gloriousness, really!

You should be able to find ponzu sauce at most grocery stores, in their Asian section. It’s tart and fragrant and I looove it. If you can’t find it, don’t worry. You can sub-in any citrus, like lemon, Meyer lemon or even yuzu (if you can find it).

This appetizer serves 2 to 4 people, but I may have eaten an entire one to myself. So feel free to make this as Dinner for One.

Buttery Pan-Seared Artichokes with Ponzu Aioli

Buttery Pan-Seared Artichokes with Ponzu Aioli

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  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 whole artichokes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Ponzu Aioli:

  • 1 tablespoon ponzu sauce
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil


  • To a medium pot, add three inches of water. Season the water with one dried bay leaf, garlic clove and salt. Turn the heat to medium heat until the water reaches a light simmer. Meanwhile, trim the artichokes. To do so, start by trimming the ends of the stem and cutting off the top of the artichoke. Grab a pair of scissors and trim each of the petals, discarding the pointy tops. Slice the artichoke in half and using a spoon, scoop out the furry center. Transfer to the simmering water, cut side down and allow to cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until the stems are tender when poked with a fork. Carefully remove the garlic clove and peel; reserving the inside, which should resemble a garlic paste.
  • To a blender, pulse together the garlic paste, ponzu sauce and egg yolk just until combined. Turn the blender on, and slowly pour in the olive oil and then the sunflower oil until combined. Salt to taste (ponzu can be a bit salty so I added none). Transfer to a small bowl and garnish with a pinch of freshly ground pepper.
  • To a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the butter. When the butter has browned, add the artichokes, cut side down. Cook until for about 2 to 3 minutes, until there's a visible light-sear on the artichokes. Remove and serve with the ponzu aioli.
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  • Reply Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps April 10, 2014 at 7:11 am

    I just made artichokes the other day, and forgot just how much I loved them after eating three in a row. I love this simple, but oh-so interesting preparation here!

    And I do the exact same thing with my doggie, even when he’s not sick! He likes to sleep under the covers occasionally and I’m always worried he’ll suffocate!

  • Reply Christine [from–The Lion's Den] April 9, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    looks SO SO good!

    from – The Lion’s Den

  • Reply Kathy April 9, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    I am exactly the same kind of psycho dog mom – I do the same thing!!! Thank you for making me realize that I’m not alone in my crazy :)!
    Also, pumpkin is good for upset dog bellies. Hope Amelia’s feeling better soon!

  • Reply Bekah April 9, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Oh no! I hope Amelia is okay! Poor baby! I think I’m going to try this! I have never had ponzu! I’m sure I’d like it. Thanks for the great idea of carving out the middle of the artichokes!

  • Reply Holly Henderson April 9, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    I am totally that kind of neurotic mother! I put my ear right up to their faces to hear them breathing and put my hand on their little tummies to feel them rising. The love (and neurosis I guess) is all-consuming!

  • Reply Tamar April 9, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    This looks delish, i’ve been wanting artichokes for a while, but something about the whole business scares me off/makes it feel too hard every time!

    For sick puppy bellies…. canned pumpkin and/or baked and mashed sweet potato mixed in with the rice can help things “solidify” for lack of a better word….

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme April 9, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      Yes, for sure. I gave her a few bowls of rice to help with her tummy. It’s definitely helped. 🙂

  • Reply Averie @ Averie Cooks April 9, 2014 at 11:36 am

    I love artichokes, so so much! And withthat aioli, oh boy! pinned

  • Reply Liz @ Tip Top Shape April 9, 2014 at 10:56 am

    This just sounds good, and then the pictures are beyond gorgeous!

  • Reply Eileen April 9, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Oh man, this does sound like the best possible dinner for one! I haven’t eaten an artichoke in far too long, even though they are all over the farmer’s market. Must go get some very soon.

  • Reply michelle April 9, 2014 at 10:26 am

    oh dear, i hope amelia gets well soon. I know exactly what you mean – i am a complete doggy mummy too and that is why we have dogs right? To love them.

    I hope amelia gets well very soon and is up and about again!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme April 9, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      After a few bowls of rice, she’s A-ok. Thank you! xo

  • Reply Cindy April 9, 2014 at 10:16 am

    I loooove artichokes but make them all too infrequently. I couldn’t find any decent ones when we were in the midwest, but now that I’m back on the west coast, I am holding onto hope!

    I totally get the “are you still alive, pup?” worry thing…and I know that in a few months I’ll being doing the same thing with my human-baby. Momz.

  • Reply Megan | Hint of Vanilla April 9, 2014 at 10:14 am

    It’s funny, I usually have a tough time with writing posts every time. I feel a mix of “No one wants to hear about my mundane life” and “I can write whatever I feel like, so I’m going to write about my mundane life!”. Almost every time it comes to blog-post-writing, I check out your blog to see what you’ve been writing about, get some inspiration, you know?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme April 9, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      Haha! That’s so sweet of you to say. I feel like all I talk about is my mundane life. Haha.

  • Reply Nina April 9, 2014 at 8:00 am

    I’ve never known quite how you eat these– do you pull off each leaf and scrape off the meat with your teeth until you hit the stem?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme April 9, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      Yep! I pulled off each petal, dipped it in the aioli and then scrapped the meat off with my teeth. So good!

  • Reply Kat April 9, 2014 at 4:47 am

    That looks divine, what beautiful photography. I am hungry 🙂

  • Reply Belinda@themoonblushbaker April 9, 2014 at 2:50 am

    Envy your skills when navigating artichoke. The last time i bough mine; It was a mess of leaves and bits of heart. Maybe it is time to try again because these look delicious!

    Ye the heat such a buzz kill sometimes; hope she gets better soon.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme April 9, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      Give it another go! And thank you! She’s all better now. 🙂

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