For those of us native to the Bay Area, the month of May signals the start of artichoke season. From roasted to baked, and dipping the hearts in creamy garlic aioli sauces, artichokes are deeply ingrained in coastal California cuisines. And today, Chef Charlie is taking us to southern Italy, for some Tuscan inspired Carciofi Fritti, or Fried Artichokes!
Carciofi Fritti (Fried Artichokes) Recipe
5 medium-size artichokes
Juice of one lemon, plus 1 lemon cut into 6 wedges for serving
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
Charlie recommends frying in olive oil for a more authentic flavor!
Using a paring knife, remove the outer leaves, and trim the artichoke down to the choke. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the woody outermost layer of the stem.
Use a spoon to remove the inedible hairy leaves and slice into quarters. Place the artichokes in a bowl of water with lemon juice to keep the artichoke from oxidizing and turning brown.
In a shallow dish, whisk together the flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
In a high-sided skillet or Dutch oven, add the vegetable oil up to 2 inches, and heat over medium high heat until hot and smoking.
Dredge the artichokes in the seasoned flour mixture, add to the hot oil, and fry for 4-5 minutes (depending on size); flipping them occasionally with tongs, until golden and crisp.
“This batter is… crispy, and light enough that you can truly taste the flavor of the artichokes.”
Transfer the artichokes to paper towel-lined platter to drain and season immediately with finishing salt.