madonna del piatto

Italian family cooking

carciofi fritti

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a tender spring artichoke

a tender spring artichoke

FRIED ARTICHOKES. When the first young artichokes appear in the markets one starts to hope that winter is  getting to an end.

An artichoke is a flower bud. A fresh artichoke is bright and unblemished, leaves are tightly packed. If the flower starts to open the artichoke will be full of choke and the leaves will be stringy, tough and virtually inedible.

Recipe

  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 young artichokes
  • oil for deep frying like sunflower oil
  • 2/3 cup regular flour (use rice flour for a gluten free alternative)

Cleaning artichokes requires a little practice but it is easier with the young and tender flowers which, by the way, can be eaten raw as a salad ingredient.

To clean artichokes first pull off the lower petals until only the pale tender ones remain. Then peel and shorten the stems leaving about 5 cm (2 inches). Using a sharp knife, cut off at least 1 cm (1/2 inch) of the top of the the artichoke and trim the sides in a conical shape to remove all the dark green fibrous parts.

artichoke trimmed in a conical shape

artichoke trimmed in a conical shape

Cut artichoke lengthwise into 8 wedges and remove the fuzzy choke and some more fibrous tips using a small pairing knife. Make sure to work quickly otherwise the artichokes will darken.

remove choke and cut into wedges

remove choke and cut into wedges

Prepare a bowl of acidulated water with the lemon juice. As soon as the artichoke wedges are ready,  transfer them into the bowl to preserve color.

keep cleaned artichokes in acidulated water

keep cleaned artichokes in acidulated water

Drain artichokes with a colander and pat dry. In a resealable plastic bag mix the flour and artichokes and shake to coat all of the wedges.  Remove from the bag,  shake off excess flour and deep fry in plenty hot oil until pale golden.

crunchy outside, tender inside, the taste of fried artichokes is unforgettable

crunchy outside, tender inside, the taste of fried artichokes is unforgettable

Drain well on paper towels and season with salt. Serve immediately as part of a mixed appetizer for 4.

Author: madonnadelpiatto

Former scientist, I now run B&B and cooking school Alla Madonna del Piatto in Assisi, Umbria, central Italy, together with my husband Ruurd, daughter Tea and truffle dog Google. We love good food and wine, travel, beautiful handicrafts like textiles and pottery. We feel fortunate to be able to share our magical mountain with many friends from all over the world.

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