I am a huge artichokes fan, and this dish is one of my favourite of all times. I discovered this specialty in Rome, in a restaurant called ‘Piperno’ located in the old Roman quarter (also known as the Jewish quarter in Rome). I have such fond memories of this place, with the green walls, elegant waiters in their white jackets and the beauty of this extraordinary dish. So here is the recipe, it’s actually very simple, you just have to prepare the artichoke correctly and deep-fry.
Ingredients: (for 6)
12 round, medium-sized fresh artichokes
Coarse salt & pepper
Parchment paper to drain the artichokes before serving
Remove all the tough leaves of the artichokes, and cut off the tip. Don’t be shy – you must take off as many dark green leaves as possible until you see the light ones. Then cut the stem and trim the underside of the base.
Hold the artichoke and push down gently until you flatten all the leaves (as if you were flattening a rose). You want the leaves open like a flower in full bloom.
Heat about 5 cm of oil in a large pan over high heat. A good test to see if the oil is ready is to throw in a small piece of bread – if it turns golden instantly, then it’s good. First place the artichokes head down for 5 minutes, then turn them over for 5 minutes more. They are ready if you pierce through the artichoke heart and it’s soft. They should be golden.
Place them on a parchment paper to drain off excess oil, and season with salt and pepper.