Carciofi alla Giudia with Fried Lemon

March 25, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

About a year ago, I ate an appetizer of fried baby artichokes at one of my favorite restaurants in Boston, Upstairs on the Square. I'd never had artichokes like that, and I fell for them. Since then, I've worked to make a home-style version of that dish, and this is what I came up with. The artichoke is really delicious prepared this way- the stalk and heart become wonderfully tender, and the outer edges of the leaves become crunchy like potato chips. So good! Oh, and if you haven't had fried lemon slices before, hold onto your hat! They are wildly and deliciously lemony. I serve these artichokes with a chickpea puree with gremolata flavors, but feel free to substitute any creamy dip, or just a smear of greek yogurt. - arielleclementine —arielleclementine

Test Kitchen Notes

I've always been curious about frying artichokes at home, and this was a great first recipe to try. Arielleclementine has you peel the outer leaves of the artichokes, which won't get crisp or tender enough from just one round of frying. I didn't peel off quite enough of those tough leaves and learned that the hard way. That notwithstanding, this recipe totally works: by the time the exterior of the artichokes was golden, the inside miraculously had turned tender and juicy. In addition to salting them, I squeezed some lemon on top as well -- delicious. And the chickpea purée is reminiscent of hummus in Israel, which is often perfumed with garlic and parsley. It provides the perfect contrast to the crunch of the artichokes and lemons. Will definitely be making this
again. - Rivka —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the Artichokes
  • 2 large artichokes
  • 2 lemons, meyer if available
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • sea salt, for sprinkling
  • chickpea puree (recipe follows) or greek yogurt
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • For the Chickpea Puree
  • 2 cups canned chickpeas
  • zest and juice of two lemons
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1/3 cup water
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  1. For the Artichokes
  2. Make the chickpea puree (recipe follows).
  3. Cut one of the lemons in half and squeeze the juice into a bowl of water. Set aside.
  4. Prepare the artichokes. With your hands, peel off the tough outer leaves of the artichoke. keep peeling until you start to see pale green tops on the remaining leaves. use your knife to cut off the top third of the artichoke (not the stem end). Use your knife or a vegetable peeler to remove the tough outer layer of the stem, and trim off any rough areas around the base of the stem. Cut the artichokes in quarters and remove and discard the feathery choke. Put the prepared artichokes into the bowl of acidulated water.
  5. Heat the oil (it should be about 1 inch deep) in a large pot over medium heat, until shimmery but not smoking. (you can put the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil- if bubbles form around the base, your oil is hot enough).
  6. Dry your first 4 artichoke quarters as best you can with a kitchen towel and ease them quickly into the oil. Be careful! Remaining water may cause the oil to splatter. Let the oil settle down a minute before you attempt to poke and prod the artichokes. Then fry, turning occasionally until the artichokes are golden and tender. Remove from the oil and drain upside down on paper towels. Sprinkle with sea salt while the artichokes are still glistening with oil. Repeat this step with the remaining artichokes.
  7. Slice the remaining lemon into very thin slices, and remove any seeds that cling to the slices. Pat the slices dry with paper towels and then drop them into the hot oil. Fry, turning occasionally, until the insides of the lemons are golden brown and the outsides are bright yellow. Drain on paper towels.
  8. To serve, spoon some of the chickpea puree (or a smear of greek yogurt) onto a plate. Drizzle with olive oil. Top with two artichoke quarters and a slice or two of fried lemon. Enjoy!
  1. For the Chickpea Puree
  2. Put all ingredients except parsley into a food processor and process until smooth. Toss in the chopped parsley and pulse a few times to incorporate.
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  • Kitchen Butterfly
    Kitchen Butterfly
  • coffeefoodwrite
  • Rivka
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • Lizthechef
I have always loved food. My favorite books as a kid always featured food (eg. The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies- so much candy!) and I loved cooking shows like Yan Can Cook and The Frugal Gourmet. I started cooking the Thanksgiving dinner for my family when I was 13 years old. I have food52 to thank for inspiring me to come up with my own recipes, as well as for introducing me to a community of fantastic cooks and their amazing recipes. I try my best to cook locally and seasonally, and I tend to prefer straightforward, simple recipes where the ingredients get to shine. I live in wonderful Austin, Texas with my husband, Andy (a video game programmer) and my son, Henry (an 8-month-old who loves to eat).

36 Reviews

fosterOR April 7, 2012
Hi! I found your recipe looking for a special vegetable dish that could work for a sephardic seder. This was a HUGE hit. Next time the only change I'd make is to peel the artichokes down more. It seems like a tradeoff since leaving some of the middle layer leaves makes the presentation nicer but then each person has to do a bit of work to pick off tough exterior parts at the table. But that's a minor thing--this got lots of oohs and ahhs. I registered with Food52 because of it. Thank you!
arielleclementine April 10, 2012
what a fantastic compliment! thank you so much for making my recipe and taking the time to comment on it- you really made my day :) i agree about the toughness of some of the outer leaves- we end up eating those the way you'd eat a steamed artichoke- scraping the fleshy part off with your bottom teeth. also- i admire you for cutting down and frying artichokes for seder! i roasted a pan of asparagus- it was the lone vegetable in a sea of brisket and carbs!
Kitchen B. July 21, 2011
Loved this so much - a great intro to the world of Artichokes!!!!! Thank you
arielleclementine July 21, 2011
thanks so much, KB! i'm thrilled you liked it!
coffeefoodwrite May 21, 2010
Oh, A C these look absolutely delicious! I have never tried frying artichokes before and am very much looking forward to trying your recipe -- I love the combination of chickpea puree. What a great recipe!
Rivka May 13, 2010
Yep, this looks incredible. Looking forward to testing it!
arielleclementine May 14, 2010
thanks, Rivka! i sure hope you like it :)
arielleclementine May 20, 2010
thank you so much for the lovely review! i'm so happy you liked it :)
Rivka May 21, 2010
thank YOU so much for the lovely recipe! Sorry about all the typos -- I sent in the review on my iphone. But those artichokes were delish!
solmstea May 5, 2010
Mmm, one of my favorite dishes, especially as done in Joyce Goldstein's Cucina Ebraica. I like the idea of the chickpea puree...sometimes the fried artichokes on their own can be a bit oily, so this seems like a great way to cut through that!
thank you! i'll have to check out that cookbook!
This looks like another great recipe from you! Yum! And so beautiful.
thank you, sweet friend :)
Lizthechef May 3, 2010
This looks wonderful - thumbs up!
hooray! thanks!
gluttonforlife May 3, 2010
These look delicious and I love how carefully you walk us through all the necessary steps. I think I might try frying mine in lard, which is actually much healthier than the polyunsaturated oils like canola, corn or safflower (even the expeller-pressed versions).
thank you! and what a clever idea- i've never fried anything in lard, but will have to try next time. do you think about a pound of lard would do it?
mistermartha April 3, 2010
Turning this into a main tonight pairing with seared scallops! Can't wait!
arielleclementine April 3, 2010
oh, how lovely! thank you so much!
dymnyno March 26, 2010
perfect combo is a keeper!!! I love creative appetizers!!!
arielleclementine April 3, 2010
thank you!
mrslarkin March 26, 2010
Wowee! Another nice one. Seriously, you should think about a food52 cookbook of your own - the arielleclementine edition.
arielleclementine March 26, 2010
yahoo! thank you, mrslarkin!
drbabs March 26, 2010
Artichokes and lemons are 2 of my favorite foods in the universe. I think these will go nicely with the shrimp risotto I am testing this weekend, if it's not too early to get artichokes. I love that they can be reheated. Thanks--you're so creative!
arielleclementine March 26, 2010
oh fun! thanks so much :) happy risotto testing!
Helenthenanny March 26, 2010
Wow Yetter Pie! I remember how delicious these artichokes are from way back when, but they look SO BEAUTIFUL in this picture!! Really fun, good jorb : )
arielleclementine March 26, 2010
ooh-eee! thanks, sister!
lastnightsdinner March 26, 2010
I adore you right back, talented lady! Keep on cooking and inspiring!
Culinista A. March 25, 2010
this looks incredible!!
arielleclementine March 26, 2010
thank you! hooray for artichokes :)
cheese1227 March 25, 2010
These are lovely. I'd love to make these as an app for Easter dinner. My issue is that I am haveing 10 adults. Obvioulsy the puree can be made in a large enough batch. But I'd have to do the artichokes in batches as well. Do you think they would hold well, say if I stuck them in the warming drawer of my oven??
arielleclementine March 25, 2010
oh! thank you! funny you should ask, because i made these during the day (to catch the sunlight) and then brought them to a friends house this evening and they reheated quite nicely in the oven (just about 5-7 minutes at 350). the lemon slices reheated very quickly, and actually got a bit dark, so i'd keep an eye on them... i'm so flattered that you'd consider making one of my recipes for Easter! thank you :)
Jennifer A. March 25, 2010
Such a beautiful and inspiring recipe! In it goes to the recipe box!
arielleclementine March 25, 2010
thank you!! and a big congratulations on your beautiful couscous recipe :)
lastnightsdinner March 25, 2010
Wow, what a fabulous combo! I love fried artichokes *and* fried lemon slices (which I include whenever I make a seafood fritto misto). I love this whole presentation, and I'm definitely going to make it when the first artichokes hit our farmers' market (they're more of a summer vegetable than a springtime one around these parts)
arielleclementine March 25, 2010
thank you so much, lastnightsdinner :) i just adore you!