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Roman Jewish-style artichokes


  • Cold water
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 large artichokes
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish


  1. Fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze the juice of the lemon into it. Set aside.
  2. Prepare artichokes by removing tough outer leaves to reveal softer, paler ones inside. Trim off the sharp tops of the leaves with a paring knife, then cut off the very top inch (2.5 centimeters) or so. Cut off the bottom of the stem, leaving an inch or two (2.5 to five centimeters), then peel off the tough exterior of the stem. Remove the inside choke (the hairy middle part), and discard.
  3. As you prepare each artichoke, place them in the lemon water so they do not become discoloured. Once all the artichokes are prepared, pour olive oil into a saucepan until it reaches eight centimeters high up the side of the pan. As you heat the oil to 350 F (175 C), remove an artichoke from the water, shake off the liquid and pat dry, then forcefully press artichoke ‘flower’-side down against your work surface in an attempt to open up the leaves and make it look like an open flower. Using metal tongs, take hold of the artichoke by the stem and place it in the hot oil, pressing the artichoke firmly down against the bottom of the pan to open the leaves up again. Hold for 15-20 seconds, then release to float free in oil, and fry for four to five minutes, turning occasionally, until all sides are a deep, golden brown. As the first artichoke continues to fry, repeat the process with the rest of the artichokes, removing each one to a paper-towel lined plate once ready.
  4. Serve sprinkled with salt, fresh ground pepper, and with a side of lemon wedges.

Buon appetito!

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