Fried Whole Artichokes
If you can't get to Rome, these "artichokes in the Jewish manner" are the next best thing.
Yield: serves 6
- 6 large globe artichokes, stems peeled and trimmed to about 1-inch length
- 1 lemon, halved
- Vegetable oil
- For each of the artichokes, pull off the tough green outer leaves until you get to the ones that are mostly yellow. Spread open the leaves and use a spoon to scoop out the fibrous white choke. Rub the artichokes all over with a halved lemon to prevent discoloration.
- Line a large baking sheet with several layers of paper towels and set it by the stove. In a large saucepan fitted with a deep fry thermometer, add oil to a depth of 3 inches and preheat over medium-high heat. When the oil is reaches 350°F, add 2 of the artichokes and cook, turning occasionally to evenly brown, about 8–9 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the artichokes to the lined baking sheet as you continue cooking the remaining artichokes in this manner.
- Once all the artichokes have been fried, place each one, stem side up, on a work surface and use a large plate or skillet to flatten it gently, just enough to open the leaves wide, without breaking apart the flower. Return the artichokes to hot oil, 2 at a time, and cook, turning to brown evenly, about 6 minutes per batch. Use the slotted spoon to transfer the artichokes to the lined baking sheet as they come out of the oil, sprinkle generously with salt and serve whole. The outer leaves will be crispy (they taste like vegetable chips); the heart, stem, and inner leaves will be tender.