Artichoke of the Roman Ghetto

April 14, 2016
0 Ratings
Photo by pierino
  • Serves As many as you have time for
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. —pierino

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • zoemetro uk
    zoemetro uk
  • pierino
Standup commis flâneur, and food historian. Pierino's background is in Italian and Spanish cooking but of late he's focused on frozen desserts. He is now finishing his cookbook, MALAVIDA! Can it get worse? Yes, it can. Visit the Malavida Brass Knuckle cooking page at Facebook and your posts are welcome there.

3 Reviews

zoemetro U. April 19, 2016
Thank you for this amazing recipe. I had only had an artichoke once when I was about 14. My friend microwaved it and then we dipped the leaves in melted butter. It just did not work for me--I ended up chewing tons of tough leaves. Then, just last week I shared grilled artichokes with a friend at our local place and it changed everything. I ran to the store the next day and bought a bunch to try. And try I did... by boiling then grilling, then roasting and grilling...and alas, nothing worked. Then I saw this recipe et voila--it is easy, better than the grilled and the preserved lemon is a brilliant touch. We loved it so very much, I am having an artichoke, wine and cheese gathering this Friday. As always Pierino, you deliver.
pierino April 19, 2016
Another similar recipe is the very traditional carciofi alla romana. Prep the artichokes in the same way but this time fill the cavity and space between the leaves with a mix of chopped garlic and mint. But this time you will braise them using one cup of olive oil and 1/4 cup water. Invert them, cover and braise for about 40 minutes until the leaves are tender. These can be served at room temperature if you like.
zoemetro U. April 21, 2016
Grazie mille--this will be a splendid addition which keeps with the roman theme. And even better, I love the room temperature part.