Friends, can you believe that August is nearly half over? That these glorious, hot, sunshine and thunderstorm-filled days are whipping by us at break neck speed? And before we know it, we will be trudging through another long, cold, snowy winter? *sigh* My apologies for the pessimistic ‘tude that I’m rocking right now. Summer just ain’t long enough!
However, I do have some advice for making the best of the rest of these summer days. Ready?
1.Get outside. Spend as much time out there as you can! Eat outside, drink outside, be active outside (emphasis on eat and drink). Have a bonfire, roast marshmallows, and devour s’mores. Sit outside and read a book. Get out there and soak up summer!
2.Make these. Don’t ask questions, just do it. Preferably in combination with #1.
3.Go to the farmers’ market. Summer farmers’ markets are fabulous. Fresh produce in its prime. Delicious local goods. Supporting your community. All the things!
5.Sleep in. It is summer, after all. And while we might not be 16 anymore, with the glory of summer holidays to waste away by sleeping until 1pm, try to sneak in an extra hour or two of slumber and savor a lazy weekend morning. Preferably followed by pancakes and hot coffee.
6.Get away. Even if you can’t swing an exotic summer holiday, get out of town for a weekend. Enjoy a change of scenery! Go to the beach, the mountains, go camping. Just get out. Your mind will thank you.
7.Grill up some artichokes and then dip them in lemon garlic aioli and stuff them into your face. Seriously.
Artichokes are delicious (and beautiful!) things. I had never bought or eaten a whole artichoke prior to trying this recipe. Canned artichokes often find their way into my grocery basket for use in a spinach and artichoke dip or onto homemade pizza. But there’s more to artichokes than their lovely little hearts! They’ve got cute little leaves that you can dip into a tasty aioli and then pull the flesh from with your teeth. With simple flavors like lemon and garlic, and the wonderful char created by a hot grill, these are a great appetizer or side to any summer meal. Get grillin’ friends, and enjoy summer!
Grilled Artichokes with Lemon Garlic Aioli (barely adapted from Food For My Family)
For the artichokes:
3 whole artichokes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Fill a large bowl with water, and add the juice from one lemon, saving the rind. Cut the artichokes in half and immediately submerge in the water (to prevent browning). Bring a (very) large pot of water to a boil and add in the squeezed lemon rind. Transfer the artichokes to the boiling water. Boil for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Fire up the grill. In a large bowl, add the juice from the other lemon, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. When the artichokes are done boiling, drain them on a paper towel and then toss them around in the bowl to coat them.
With the grill on medium heat, add the artichokes to the grill. Brush the artichokes with the remaining oil mixture in the bowl. Turn every five minutes until artichokes start to char (mine took about 15 minutes). Remove from heat.
For the lemon garlic aioli:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
1 green onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Mix together all ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve with the grilled artichokes.
Things might get messy. Have your napkins ready.
The photos in this post were taken with Instagram, an iPhone app. If you are an IG user and want to follow my daily foodie (etc.) life, you can find me at @onceuponarecipe.