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Carciofi alla Giudea – crispy fried artichokes

by Rosana McPhee
Carciofi alla Giudea – crispy fried artichokes

Carciofi alla Giudea – crispy fried artichokes

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Why not try?

Carciofi alla Giudea, which literally translated from the Roman dialect means 'Jewish-style artichokes', is an antipasto that originated in the Roman Ghetto; a Jewish ghetto of Rome that was established in 1555.

Today, the Jewish Quarter where the ghetto once stood is full of small restaurants and taverns where you can taste this Jewish-Roman dish, a favourite during the spring months when the local artichokes from the north-west coastal region of Lazio are in season. In the spring, the local community in the region of Lazio even celebrate this vegetable with artichoke festivals.

This classic dish is very simple to prepare, but this method enhances the aroma and flavour of this vegetable wonderfully. The artichokes are quickly fried so they become crispy and nutty, while the tasty artichoke hearts become tender and earthy. Artichokes are a typical contorni (vegetable and salad) of Lazio cuisine, especially the city of Rome where this dish was invented.

Cimaroli, also called Mammole or Romanesco artichokes, don't contain any tough internal fibres and have a more tender texture than other varieties.

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

1
Clean the artichokes by cutting away the tough outer leaves until you get to softer internal ones. With a curved paring knife, carefully cut off the purple part of each leaf
2
The artichoke will have a round shape, like a rose. Peel off the outer skin of the artichoke stems and carefully tidy up the bases
3
Immerse the artichokes in a clean acidulated water, made of 1l of water and the juice of 1 lemon, for at least 10 minutes
4
Remove the artichokes from the water, drain and dry thoroughly. Beat them against one another so that the leaves start to open
5
In a deep pan, heat the oil to 140–150°C
6
Immerse the artichokes in the hot oil and allow to fry for 10 minutes. To check if they are cooked, just pierce the base of the artichokes with a fork – if the fork penetrates the artichoke, it is done
7
Remove the artichokes from the oil and leave them to cool upside down on a tray for 15 minutes to drain the excess oil. With a fork, open the leaves from the inside to get the shape of a fully bloomed rose
8
Season with salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper and allow the artichokes to rest for a few minutes
9
Sprinkle the artichokes with white wine. Reheat the oil, raising the temperature slightly this time to 180°C, and dip the artichokes back into the hot oil for 1–2 minutes only. Remove artichokes and drain cut-side down on kitchen paper
10
Serve the artichokes piping hot with lemon wedges on the side
 

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