Artichokes with Caper Mayo

Join Culinate

With a free Culinate membership, you can:

  • Create your own recipe collections
  • Queue recipes for later use
  • Blog your culinary endeavors
  • Be part of our online community of cooks
  • And much more…
Join Now

Artichokes with Caper Mayo

By , from the Culinate Kitchen collection
Serves 4
Total Time 1 hour


One of my all-time favorite restaurants in Portland, the departed Vat & Tonsure, used to serve this appetizer. This is my recipe that has evolved out of memory and guesswork. The artichokes are good served warm or chilled.


2 large artichokes
2 lemons, halved
1 tsp. herbes de Provence, or ½ tsp. each dried thyme and rosemary
1 tsp. black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
½ cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
2 Tbsp. capers
~ Salt
~ Fresh ground black pepper to taste


  1. Fill a medium-large pot (large enough to just hold the artichokes) over halfway with water. Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the water (reserving the squeezed lemon halves), then add a generous pinch of salt, the herbes de Provence, peppercorns and the bay leaf; bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the artichokes by first pulling off their tough outer leaves, cutting off the pokey tips of the leaves with either a knife or scissors, trimming the stems, and rubbing the cut surfaces of the artichoke with the squeezed lemon halves.
  3. Once the artichokes are prepared, add them to the water, stem-side down. Cook, partially covered, at a gentle boil for 35 to 45 minutes. The artichokes are done when a leaf can be easily pulled off and when the bottom is tender enough to be pierced with a paring knife. Remove artichokes from the water and drain, upside down, in a colander. If you are serving them warm, let them drain a few minutes first; otherwise, drain, then chill.
  4. While the artichokes are cooking (or chilling), make the caper mayo. Squeeze the juice of the remaining lemon into the mayonnaise; whisk until smooth. Add garlic and capers and stir until blended; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. To eat: Remove leaves one at a time from the artichokes and, as you do so, dip the bottom of each leaf into the caper mayo and scrape with your teeth the meaty part of the leaf. Once you get to the middle part of the artichoke, remove the purple leaves and choke (the fuzzy center) with a paring knife, to reveal the heart. The heart, once trimmed of the choke and any fibrous strings of the stem, is the best part.

This content is from the Culinate Kitchen collection.

There are 4 comments on this item
Add a comment
Average Rating 4.5
50% recommend this recipe
1. by Lisa Donoughe on May 11, 2010 at 7:55 PM PDT

quick question -- this recipe says to “blend” the mayo with the capers, etc. I tossed everything into the blender and it was a mess. By ‘blend” do you simply mean stir? thanks!

2. by Carrie Floyd on May 11, 2010 at 9:10 PM PDT

Yes, stir until blended (I corrected the recipe to avoid future confusion). I just made this last night and enjoyed the leftovers for lunch. My daughter likes the caper mayo on sandwiches (her personal favorite is salami, roasted red peppers & caper mayo on a baguette).

3. by Lisa Donoughe on May 11, 2010 at 9:33 PM PDT
Rating: four

Thanks Carrie, I loved the flavor of the dip and the artichoke was delicious with all those components in the broth.

4. by anonymous on Nov 22, 2012 at 12:59 PM PST
Rating: five

I loved the V &T, and this really brings back the memories. Thanks.

Add a comment

Think before you type

Culinate welcomes comments that are on-topic, clean, and courteous. For the benefit of the community we reserve the right to delete comments that contain advertising, personal attacks, profanity, or which are thinly disguised attempts to promote another website.

Please enter your comment

Format: Bare URLs are automatically linked; use this style: [ "place text to be linked here"] for prettier links. You may specify *bold* or _italic_ text. No HTML please.

Please identify yourself

Not a member? Sign up!

Please prove that you’re not a computer

Culinate 8

Kale in the raw

Eight versions of kale salad

Eight ways to spin everyone’s favorite salad.

Graze: Bites from the Site
First Person

The secret sharer

A father’s legacy

The Culinate Interview

Mollie Katzen

The vegetarian-cooking pioneer


Down South

Barbecue, tamales, cocktails, and more

Local Flavors

A winter romesco sauce

Good on everything

Editor’s Choice