Vegetables with Avocado Aioli

1 lemon, halved
12 baby artichokes
1 pound young carrots, tops trimmed to 1 inch
1/2 pound thin green beans (haricots verts)
1/2 pound sugar snap peas
12 small red-skinned new potatoes
12 small beets

Avocado Aioli
2 ripe Hass avocados (about 1/2 pound each)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) or flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 hard-cooked eggs, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Cook the vegetables: Squeeze the lemon halves into a medium bowl and fill with water. Trim the artichoke stems and cut about 1/2 inch off the tops. Remove any tough outer leaves at the base and snip the points from the remaining leaves with scissors. Toss the artichokes into the acidulated water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the artichokes and boil until tender when pierced, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well. In the same pot, boil the remaining vegetables, one at a time, until just tender; remove each batch with a slotted spoon as it's done.

Make the Avocado Aioli: Halve the avocados. Scoop the flesh into a bowl. Mash with the lime juice and garlic. Scrape into a food processor and puree. With the machine on, drizzle in the oil. Scrape the puree into a bow. Fold in the coriander and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

To serve, arrange the vegetables and eggs on a large platter. Sprinkle the parsley over all. Spoon the aioli into a bowl and serve alongside.

Yield: 6-8 servings