Artichokes with basil and lemon dipping sauce

Artichokes with basil and lemon dipping sauce

1 hour . Serves 6 .

Trim off the tops of the artichoke leaves with a pair of kitchen scissors if you like. If you are not serving this as a vegetarian dish, try adding 2 mashed anchovies into the sauce.

lemons 3

globe artichokes 6

egg yolk 1

olive oil 200 ml

single cream 50 ml

basil 1/2 bunch, stalks removed and chopped

 Halve 2 of the lemons, drop them into a very large pan of water and bring to the boil. Snap the stalk off each artichoke, pulling any strings that won't break easily out of the artichoke base. Put the artichokes into the water; weigh down with a saucer, and cook for 40 minutes or until the big base leaves will pull off easily. Drain well, upside down.

 Meanwhile, put the egg yolk in a bowl, zest over the remaining lemon then halve it and add a good squeeze of juice. Whisk in the olive oil with electric beaters. Season well, stir in the cream and add the basil. If the mixture is still too thick, add a squeeze more lemon.

 Turn the artichokes over and serve them with a small bowl of the sauce for dipping.

To eat, pull off the leaves from the base up, dipping them in the sauce and scraping off the fleshy part with your teeth. When you reach the small purplish leaves in the centre, pull them out and then scrape out the hairy choke, discard both, then eat the heart.

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