I heart these Roman Jewish Fried Artichokes! Get it? Like artichoke hearts? Okkkay. Anyway, don’t be intimidated by cooking up artichokes, it’s easier than you think.
Long time no new recipe! I haven’t been slacking, I swear. We moved from Puerto Rico back to the Bay Area, plus things have been CRAZY over on my store ModernTribe! Total meshugenah, I tell ya.
So how is it living in NorCal after three years on a tropical island? I’m glad you asked! A little bit of culture shock, but we are getting used to it. Eating our weight in delicious sushi and playing floating beer pong in our new pool has helped ease us in! We are now in the burbs, so it’s definitely quieter than the beachside city life. And a lot less Bad Bunny coming out of passing cars. More leggings and Golden Goose, and fewer thong bikinis. And things close pretty early- we had a hard time finding somewhere to grab dinner at 9pm! But on the other hand, we can get pretty much anything delivered instantly, everything here is perfectly manicured, and the access to local produce is insane!
I can walk to no fewer than four farmer’s markets. Four! Everything is so beautiful and fresh. I was inspired this week by the seasonal artichokes. Bring on the fry!
How do you remove the artichoke choke anyway?
There are different size artichokes, as you can see here, but I fried up the baby ones. They are smaller (duh) so you can fry in less oil. And there is no choke (aka the fuzzy middle appropriately named because you can literally choke on it) to remove before eating. A win win! But you can totally make this recipe with medium or large artichokes too. Just make sure to remove the choke. You can do this in between the fry sessions by scooping it out of the middle, or slicing them in half the long way before frying or after the first fry and scoop it out then.
Are fried artichokes Jewish?
Did you know fried artichokes are a Jewish food? Back in ancient Rome, most Italians were not artichoke fans, but the Roman Jews embraced them, especially in fried form. Turns out they were correct- fried artichokes are delicious!
How do you prepare fried artichokes?
Don’t be scared. You just pick off the darker spiky leaves until you are left with the pale green bulb. Then, slice the tp of the leaves off leaving a spiral flower shape! Trim the stem too. Fry them once to cook the ‘choke, then turn up the heat and fry to a golden brown. Olive oil is traditional, but you can use a high smoke point oil for frying too like canola, grapeseed or vegetable. Or a combo! You’re going to want to serve these right away with a sprinkle of salt, squeeze of lemon, and a dip in aioli. YUM.
Don’t you just love how they look like little flowers?
Roman Jewish Fried Artichokes
- 12 baby artichokes
- 3 lemons
- Oil for frying (olive oil is traditional, but feel free to use a high spoke point oil like canola, vegetable or grapeseed too. Or a combo!)
- Mayonnaisse or aioli for dipping
- Set aside a large bowl of water and squeeze the juice from two lemons in the bowl. Throw the lemons in too while you are at it. This will prevent our artichokes from browning as we prep them.
- Taking one at a time, pick off the darker spiky outer leaves until you are left with the pale green bulb. Then, slice the leaves in half where the bulb starts to turn in, leaving a spiral flower shape! Trim the fibrous pieces off of the stem too. put the artichoke in the water and continue with the other pieces.
- Now, time to fry. Heat up about 2 inches of oil to 275 degrees F. It doesn't have to be enough oil to cover the pieces as we will flip them while frying. Set aside a cooling rack over a towel. Fry the artichokes for about 10 minutes, flipping periodically, until a knife entered near the stem enters easily.
- Remove the artichokes and heat the oil up to 350 degrees F. When cool enough to handle, spread the leaves out to make them flower shaped. Pretty! If you are using larger artichokes, remove the choke at this point.
- Fry the artichokes for 3-4 more minutes until golden in color. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of salt, a squeeze of lemon and a dip in mayo!