Jewish Fried Artichokes


We are all adjusting to a new normal during this pandemic, and although it is difficult being separated from family and friends we are doing our best to fill our days with mindful activities. Spending a lot of time baking and cooking helps, as our kitchen is my happy place. Usually, at this time of year, we are in Umbria, Italy, and I am gorging myself with artichokes, spring peas, wild asparagus, and fava beans that we buy at our local outdoor markets. One of my favorite spring dish I enjoy when we are in Italy is a combination of fried lamb or rabbit with artichokes. Unfortunately, our trips to the grocery stores are limited at this time, and all of our farmer’s markets have shut down. My husband recently ventured out with my weekly grocery list, and I begged him to buy me some artichokes if they looked fresh. I knew that cooking artichokes would help to cheer me up and bring just a little bit of Umbria into my kitchen. My husband brought home six huge globe artichokes. Despite being larger than I would have liked, I decided to make Jewish artichokes, also known as Roman artichokes with them.

In Italy, fried artichokes are usually made with the round, spineless artichoke. They are prepared by frying the chokes first at a lower temperature to tenderize them. Then just before serving, they are fried at high heat to crisp and brown them. Because my articles were more substantial, I decided to parboil them first until they were tender, I then dried them, and then I fried them at high heat just before I served them. Although I love these fried chokes simply sprinkled with sea salt along with lemon wedges, they would also be great served with a lemon aioli dipping sauce. Because my chokes were on the larger size, I cut them in half so they would cook evenly, and it also makes them easier to clean out the fuzzy inner choke. These artichokes are best served immediately after cooking when they are very crisp.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah mele 2020

Jewish Fried Artichokes

Jewish Fried Artichokes

Yield: Serves 4-6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

A specialty of the Jewish quarter in Rome, these crispy, brown artichokes are a spring specialty.

Ingredients

  • 6 Medium To Large Fresh Artichokes
  • 3 Lemons, Halved
  • Neutral Oil For Frying
  • Coarse Sea Salt

To Serve:

  • Lemon Wedges

Instructions

    1. Fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze the juice from 2 lemon halves into bowl.
    2. Keep stem attached and, at opposite end, cut off top inch each artichoke with a sharp serrated knife.
    3. Trim dark green fibrous parts from base using a vegetable peeler or a paring knife.
    4. Tear off the outer tough leaves until you reach pale yellow leaves with pale green tips.
    5. Cut artichokes in half and scoop out the fuzzy inner choke.
    6. Rub raw edges with lemon and place in acid water to prevent discoloration.
    7. Trim remaining artichokes in same manner.
    8. Drain artichokes well on paper towels and pat dry.
    9. Heat oil in a 4-quart deep heavy saucepan over moderate heat until thermometer registers 220°F, then simmer artichokes in oil, gently stirring occasionally, until tender, about 15 minutes.
    10. Alternatively, you can parboil the chokes just until tender when pierced with a knife, about 5 minutes.
    11. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
    12. When ready to serve, heat oil over moderate heat until thermometer registers 375°F, and pat the chokes well with paper towels to dry completely.
    13. Fry artichokes in 4 batches until leaves are curled, browned, and crisp, 30 to 40 seconds.
    14. Return the oil to 375 degrees between batches and continue until all of the chokes have been fried.
    15. Drain well on paper towels and season with salt.
    16. Serve immediately & enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 47Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 110mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g