The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

Artichokes with Champagne Mustard Aioli,
Papaya Purée and Cheese 

This is a very simple snack to put together that has been a favorite around here
for years. I was originally planning to grill these beauties, but instead opted for
steaming. They will work wonderfully any way you choose to prepare them.

Depending on the variety of artichokes you have you may need to trim the tops
of the leaves where the thorns are. Then just prepare them how you like. If
steaming trim them first and remove the bottom stem portion. 

I also picked up a lovely papaya to serve both as a purée and a fresh fruit
side to accompany our artichokes. The purée was used as a spread with
cheese and the dipping sauce for the artichokes was the champagne
mustard aioli. However some chose to dip with both sauces.

What you will need:
For the champagne mustard aioli
8 tablespoons of French mustard aioli
8 tablespoons of plain Greek-style yogurt
2 tablespoons of champagne
(or a very dry sparkling wine)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 clove of garlic, minced
Pinch salt and pepper
Whisk and bowl

For the Papaya Purée
1 large papaya, halved
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1-2 pinches chipotle chile pepper, ground
1 pinch cumin, ground
3-4 fresh mint leaves

Let's get mixing:
For the champagne mustard aioli
Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk briskly until incorporated.
You can adjust the thickness of this sauce by adding a bit more champagne. 

For the Papaya Purée
Place all ingredients except the spices in blender, blending until smooth.
Add spices and additional juice to taste. Note: if using as a spread make
sure not to thin the purée too much.

Each sauce will yield about 1 cup and is based on 2 large artichokes.
Serves 2-4

To go along with our artichokes I picked up a few Pretzel Sticks, mainly because they
were just too cute :) And a couple of cheese selections, my favorite The Triple Cream
Brie and Rosemary Olive Oil Asiago. Both paired wonderfully with the Papaya Purée.

Alisha ~ Magic of Spice

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