Artichoke of the Roman Ghetto

By pierino
April 14, 2016
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Author Notes:

Carciofi alla Giuda as it’s known. This is true Roman Jewish cooking which goes back centuries. And it’s as simple as can be. For this you will need fresh artichokes which still have length of stem attached. You probably will need to go to your farmers market for that as supermarkets tend to chop them short. Don’t use your best olive oil for this. Use a lighter one keeping in mind that olive oil has a low smoke point. Don’t let it catch fire.


Serves: as many as you have time for

  • 1 artichoke per person
  • 1 fresh lemon
  • 1 slice preserved lemon
  • Abundant olive oil for deep frying.
  1. Fill a large bowl of water. Quarter the lemon and squeeze to acidulate the water.
  2. Trim the artichoke: break off the outside leaves until you get down to the pale, green ones. Keep the bottom ones attached to hold the base together. Using a turning knife or a vegetable peeler scrape down the stem.
  3. Cut off enough of the top of the artichoke for you to get inside with a spoon or better still a melon baller. Scrape out the hairy choke. Exposing the heart.
  4. Place the artichoke in the acidulated water while you heat the oil in a deep sauce pan. Leave enough space on the stem of the artichoke for you to lift it in and out. Yes, you can use a fryolater if you own one.
  5. When the oil begins to shimmer dry the artichoke with a towel. Test the oil by tossing in one of the discarded leaves. It should sizzle and fry immediately. You’ll need a temperature of about 375F.
  6. Open up the artichoke like a big flower blossom and using the stem and plunge it into the oil. Don’t burn yourself. When it looks crispy and brown it’s done.
  7. Chop up the preserved lemon and scoop it into the middle of the choke and serve.

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