When beautiful artichokes, asparagus and baby carrots arrive at the farmers’ market in the spring, the vegetables need little preparation in order to shine. Here, the vegetables are simply steamed and then arranged artfully on a platter alongside a bowl of freshly made aioli. For an added depth of flavor, drizzle the steamed vegetables with an infused oil, such as roasted garlic or basil oil, before serving.
Steamed Spring Vegetables with Garlic-Herb Aioli
1/2 lb. (250 g) new potatoes, halved
1/2 lb. (250 g) small artichokes, trimmed and halved
1/2 lb. (250 g) asparagus, ends trimmed and thicker stalks peeled with a vegetable peeler
1/2 lb. (250 g) baby carrots, peeled and halved
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) olive oil
3 Tbs. minced fresh herbs, such as dill, parsley and thyme
Put a steamer insert in a large, wide pot with a lid. Fill the pot with water to just below the level of the insert. Place the steamer over medium heat and bring the water to a simmer.
Place the potatoes and artichokes in the steamer basket. Cover the pot and steam the vegetables for 5 minutes, then add the asparagus and carrots, arranging them on top of the potatoes and artichokes. Cover the pot and continue steaming until the potatoes and artichokes are tender and the asparagus and carrots are crisp-tender, 10 to 12 minutes more.
While the vegetables are steaming, make the aioli. In a blender, blend the garlic and salt until the garlic is finely chopped. Add the eggs, lemon juice and mustard and blend again until thoroughly combined. With the motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil and blend until the mixture thickens to the consistency of mayonnaise. Transfer the aioli to a bowl and fold in the herbs. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve, arrange the vegetables on a platter and place a bowl of the aioli alongside. Serves 6.
Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen