Carciofi all Guidia — fried artichokes
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Photo: Gaia Dell'Ariccia
This is my desert island dish — translated as Jewish-style artichokes — the most renowned traditional Roman Jewish recipe. Use artichokes. which are tender and with as little hair inside as possible.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
4 fresh artichokes
1-1.5l Sunflower oil
2 lemons, quartered
Fill a bowl with cold water. Squeeze in the juice of one lemon to prevent the artichoke discolouring.
To trim the artichoke: using a small sharp knife cut off the stem leaving 4cm. Pull off the outer green leaves.
Trim the outer part of the stem (the centre is soft and lighter in colour than the outside). Rub with lemon.
Hold the artichoke with one hand and with the other cut off the top green end of every leaf by turning the artichoke. Cut upwards in a spiral towards the centre. You should have a “closed rose”, where you can see only the white or light green parts of the artichoke.
Rub with more lemon and add to the acidulated water. Repeat with the rest.
Set a deep fryer to 160°C or heat the oil in shallow saucepan.
Slightly open the top centre of each artichoke where the “petals” meet. Season with salt and pepper and place it, stem down, in the oil.
Fry for 8-10 minutes, rotating the artichokes onto the other side of the stem/bottom.
Once the bottom of the artichoke is golden and tender when tested with a fork, use two forks to open up the leaves and turn the artichokes upside down so that the stem is on top. Fry for a couple more minutes. You may lose some leaves but they are delicious eaten as “artichoke chips”.
Drain the artichokes on kitchen paper.
For information on Silvia Nacamulli's Umbrian cookery courses on 16-21 June and 13-18 October 2013 visit www.cookingforthesoul.com