Deep-fried Artichokes

Carciofi alla Giudia, or deep-fried Roman globe artichokes, are one of winter’s most delicious side dishes. As the artichoke fries it opens up like a flower and yields a gorgeous golden-brown artichoke. The leaves are crispy and delicious and the inside flesh is tender and wonderful. Deep-fried artichokes are easy to prepare; the most important thing is to remove any of the tough outer leaves of the artichoke, and the tough exterior of the stem, artichoke base and top.

Yummy deep fried Roman globe artichokes
This deep-fried artichokes recipe is Roman in origin, and more precisely comes from the Jewish ghetto area of the city. Recipes for Carciofi alla Giudia date back many centuries to the 1600s when the recipe for Carciofi alla Giudia was first seen in recipe collections that predate our modern conception of a cookbook.

Market lady with artichokes

Carciofi alla Giudia were typically prepared in the Jewish ghetto during Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is the time of the year when people of the Jewish faith fast for 24 hours, neither eating nor drinking. This 24-hour period is dedicated exclusively to prayer. Following the 24-hour fast deep-fried artichokes was the typical dish prepared to break the fast, hence their name Carciofi alla Giudia.
Carciofi alla Giudia should only be made with the best variety of Roman artichokes. The best ones are grown in the Ladispoli and Civitavecchia coastal areas of the Lazio region. Roman or globe artichokes are large and round and have almost no spiny parts on the tips of the leaves. Consequently the deep-fried artichokes can be eaten in their entirety from the delicious crispy leaves to the scrumptious interior artichoke flesh.

Cleaned artichokes

If you’re uncertain how to clean the artichokes this series of short videos will help you out. They feature a wonderful woman from a market in Rome who is an expert at cleaning artichokes!

First you snap off the toughest outer leaves:

Removing tough outer leaves from artichokes

Next peel away the tough parts of the stem:

Peeling tough stem artichokes

Lastly, remove the tough part from the artichoke top:

Removing tough leave parts top of artichoke

 

Deep-Fried Artichokes
(Carciofi alla Giudia)

Lazio Region

Serves 4-6

This recipe calls for young and tender globe artichokes so that the entire artichoke can be eaten. When deep fried the leaves spread out like petals of a flower and the artichokes turn an appetizing golden brown.
This is an ancient recipe that comes from the Jewish quarter in Rome.

Ingredients:
6 artichokes
Four untreated lemons
Olive (or peanut) oil, 2 liters
Salt

Special equipment:
Deep pot for frying
Slotted spoon for frying
Draining rack for frying
Candy thermometer

Procedure:
Prepare some acidulated water for the artichokes to keep them from turning brown.
Halve the lemons and squeeze the juice into a bowl large enough to comfortably hold the artichokes.
Place the lemons in the bowl with the juice and fill the bowl halfway with cold water.
As you clean the artichokes place them in the acidulated water.
Clean the artichokes by removing the tough outer leaves and peeling away the outer layer of the stem.
Cut off the top 1/4 to 1/3 of the artichoke.
Remove the inner beard and place the artichoke in acidulated water.
Once the artichokes are cleaned, drain them well, and pat dry.
Rap the artichokes gently on a cutting board to open them up.
Gently open them up a bit further by spreading leaves.
Deep fry for 10 minutes or until golden brown and tender on the inside in 150° C (300° F) oil, turning frequently.
Make sure the pot you use for frying is deep enough to hold the oil and artichokes without any risk of overflowing. I suggest filling the pot no more than half way with oil. If necessary, fry the artichokes in batches.
It’s essential to maintain the 300°F temperature to be sure the artichokes are tender on the inside and crisp & golden on the outside. I use a candy thermometer to keep track of the temperature.
Remove the artichokes with a slotted spoon, then drain on a draining rack or brown paper placed on top of old newspapers.
Salt the artichokes and serve immediately, or keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

Yummy deep fried Roman globe artichokes

Deep-Fried Artichokes (Carciofi alla Giudia)

This recipe calls for young and tender globe artichokes so that the entire artichoke can be eaten. When deep fried the leaves spread out like petals of a flower and the artichokes turn an appetizing golden brown.
This is an ancient recipe that comes from the Jewish quarter in Rome.
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Ingredients

  • 6 artichokes
  • 4 untreated lemons
  • 2 liters Olive or peanut oil
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Prepare some acidulated water for the artichokes to keep them from turning brown.
  2. Halve the lemons and squeeze the juice into a bowl large enough to comfortably hold the artichokes.
  3. Place the lemons in the bowl with the juice and fill the bowl halfway with cold water.
  4. As you clean the artichokes place them in the acidulated water.
  5. Clean the artichokes by removing the tough outer leaves and peeling away the outer layer of the stem.
  6. Cut off the top 1/4 to 1/3 of the artichoke.
  7. Remove the inner beard and place the artichoke in acidulated water.
  8. Once the artichokes are cleaned, drain them well, and pat dry.
  9. Rap the artichokes gently on a cutting board to open them up.
  10. Gently open them up a bit further by spreading leaves.
  11. Deep fry for 10 minutes or until golden brown and tender on the inside in 150° C (300° F) oil, turning frequently.
  12. Make sure the pot you use for frying is deep enough to hold the oil and artichokes without any risk of overflowing. I suggest filling the pot no more than half way with oil. If necessary, fry the artichokes in batches.
  13. It's essential to maintain the 300°F temperature to be sure the artichokes are tender on the inside and crisp & golden on the outside. I use a candy thermometer to keep track of the temperature.
  14. Remove the artichokes with a slotted spoon, then drain on a draining rack or brown paper placed on top of old newspapers.
  15. Salt the artichokes and serve immediately, or keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

 

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