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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Comments (13) Questions (0)


about 4 years ago the urban baker

artichokes fried in olive oil? oh my! be still my heart!


over 5 years ago onionista

This sounds terrific! I've never tried them fried. Can't wait to try them. The image is beautiful also. Congrats Greg!


over 5 years ago Marla

Greg, I am so proud of you and your artichokes!! xo


over 5 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

In Italy I've seen more kinds of artichokes than you can imagine. They are just thistle flowers anyway. But the "violetta" would be the closest to the description above, and always with that long stem. I've seen elephantine artichokes in America at farmers markets with a stem about a foot long. However I learned quickly that when they are that big the stem end is woody, fibrous and inedible. So go with the smallest ones here. Globe artichokes work for one thing; sticking them directly into hot coals. Oretta Zanini de Vita is the Marcella Hazan of Rome (Mario Batali is one of her acolytes). She suggests stuffing them, placing them about half way into your coals. Afterward you remove the burnt outside leaves which have acted as an insulation from the flame. And with "cariofi" remember that less is often more.


over 5 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

Misspell; "carciofi".


over 5 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

I love that the leaves remain intact - part of the fun in eating artichokes!


over 5 years ago TasteFood

I love how easy this is, and I also appreciate the detailed frying instructions. Baby artichokes are on tomorrow's shopping list!


over 5 years ago monkeymom

Congrats SippitySup!


over 5 years ago Oui, Chef

Congrats Sup! Any recipe that doesn't require my carving away the leaves to expose the heart and choke is tops in my book! These are beautiful to behold, and I'm sure, quite tasty.


over 5 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Congratulations on being a finalist! This time of year I mostly do baby artichokes and will definitely try this.


over 5 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations! I am so looking forward to this.


over 5 years ago solmstea

This is just how I make them (this is basically carciofi alla giuda) except that I first boil them for a few minutes until just tender. This softens them up and makes it easier to spread them out like a flower. I like leaving more stem so that I can hold onto it and eat the heart like an ice cream cone (though then you definitely have to boil it, otherwise the stem probably wouldn't cook)


over 5 years ago dymnyno

Gorgeous and sounds delicious. I am going to try it soon. Baby chokes are in the market now.