Buttery Pan-Seared Artichokes with Ponzu Aioli

Buttery Pan-Seared Artichokes with Ponzu Aioli

Artichokes:
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 

1. 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.  

2. 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. 

3. 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. 

Serves 2 to 4, as an appetizer
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