Baby Purple Artichokes Fried in Olive Oil

By • May 3, 2010 13 Comments

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Author Notes: This hardly counts as a recipe, but it's certainly one of the most delicious way to eat artichokes I can imagine. Besides learning to prep but the baby artichokes in the manner I have described allows the hearts to cook properly with out frying the leaves to death. - SippitySupSippity Sup (Greg Henry)

Food52 Review: If you've ever been daunted by deep frying, then you must try this recipe. The artichokes are simply trimmed and fried -- without a batter or coating -- in oil, once at a low temperature to soften them, and once at a high temperature to crisp them. The whole operation takes about 10 minutes. The artichokes open like flowers in bloom. Around the outside, the tips of their leaves are crunchy and caramelized, and at the center the artichokes are silky and tender. You can also strain the oil and save it for up to a two weeks in the fridge. We used about 4 cups oil and rather than drop the artichokes in acidulated water, we simply rubbed the cut parts with lemon. - A&MThe Editors

Serves 4

  • 12 baby artichokes
  • enough olive oil and peanut oil (in a 1 to 1 ratio) to deep fry (depends on your fryer)
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon wedges (optional)
  1. Trim away a few of the tough outer leaves of each artichoke, Then chop off about 1/3 of the top of the artichoke and trim the stem down so that the artichoke will sit flat.
  2. Use your fingers to pry and prod the leaves open some. Then invert the artichoke and gently flatten it a bit more using the palm of your hand. Gently is the key word here. They break easy. Drop each artichoke in acidulated water -- or simply rub with a cut lemon -- until ready to use.
  3. The first fry is to blanch only so heat your oil to 300 degree F oil. Dry the artichokes off well before continuing. Drop a few at time into the oil for about 2 minutes (if they begin browning, turn down the heat). Remove them to a paper towel lined plate to drain (upside down). Work in batches so that you do not crowd the fryer.
  4. When you are ready to serve the artichokes raise the temperature of the oil to 360 degrees F. They will sizzle and get brown and crunchy quickly; about 2 minutes total frying time should do it. Again, work in batches, and turn them over in the oil a few times while cooking. Please not that olive oil has a lower smoking point than peanut oil. With a combination of oils there should be no problem. But do not leave to hot oil unattended. Or allow it too heat too much.
  5. Drain the artichokes well and give them a good sprinkle of excellent salt and a bit of pepper. A little spritz of lemon juice is good too. But you MUST eat them hot to fully enjoy their textures!

More Great Recipes: Vegetables|Side Dishes

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