Artichokes in the Jewish Style

  • Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
  • Serves: 4
  • Level: easy

‘…I had baked breadcrumbed artichokes whilst I was on holiday, I’m sure that will make it’s way onto WDC. But this recipe is so simple to do. Pull, bite, chew, throw – repeat this process until you reach the centre, trust me you’re in for a treat… “The Artichoke Heart”…’

Leo Williamson
'Coming home from Sicily and Pops rustles some artichokes up to eat with the family... '

What you need

4 medium to large globe artichokes

4 litres vegetable oil

Salt and pepper

Lemon



Dad's Recipe Tales

Goodness! What a lot of oil…

I have always wanted to deep fry artichokes in the Jewish style – or carciofi alla giudia. I’ve resisted the temptation due to the amount of oil involved – but also because I wasn’t sure I’d get a better result than simply boiling the artichokes. However, on the River Cafe online video channel, a young female chef talks through the process. Her presentation was so straightforward – it looked dead easy. So I persevered – and was well rewarded.

The authentic recipe – and River Cafe’s – uses larger artichokes. The recipe also works using smaller artichokes – which might be more practical for the home cook. (I once had some wonderful small violetta artichokes cooked in this style at the Barrafina in Frith Street, London).

However, if you happen to have a a gallon or so of vegetable oil and some big artichokes, this will make a delicious alternative to the classic artichoke vinaigrette recipe.

How Dad Cooked It

  1. Wash the artichokes. Cut their stalks to a 5 cm length and trim the tough outer part. Peel off any small leaves attached to the stalk and remove some of the tough outer leaves – just one row. Shake, put upside down in a colander. Leave for half an hour to drain.
  2. Using a 6 – 8 litre stock pot, pour in the oil and bring to 100C.
  3. Deep fry the artichokes keeping the temperature at 100C, rotating and turning until they are tender inside. Test with a skewer.
  4. Take the artichokes from the oil and drain upside down in a colander over a bowl. Drain and cool for 15 minutes.
  5. Turn the heat up and bring the oil to 180C – 190C.
  6. Hold each artichoke in your hand and spread out the leaves – opening and loosening the centre. Put the artichokes individually into the oil and fry from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Drain each artichoke again.
  7. To serve place some kitchen towels on a plate and put the artichokes – stalks facing up – on the plate. Take another plate and push down gently on top. This will flatten the artichoke. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with a wedge of lemon.

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