Fried artichokes were one of the best discoveries during my year in Basilicata at 16. I lived with two families that year. The first in a town called Montescaglioso, the family was fairly unpleasant and one of the worst things about them was that the mother was a horrible cook, a heartbreak for me arriving in the strange world, at least the food could have been good. Luckily her mother was a good cook and lived right up the street. During the first weeks of my living with them we went to pay her a visit and like any good Italian nonna she happened to have something for us to munch on while we were there, fried artichokes, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. They were such a wonderful discovery, crunchy, salty deliciousness. I never had it in me to try them myself though, but with such an abundance of artichokes on my patio I figured I had nothing to loose.
I fried up a huge bowl of them, my husband and plopped ourselves on the couch, turned on the boob tube and watched a really bad Italian movie, so much better than popcorn.
- 4-6 medium artichokes, trimmed and sliced
- 2 eggs, beaten (or as needed)
- flour, as much as needed to coat the artichokes
- oil for frying, enough to fill the pan an inch or two
- paper towels
- salt to taste
Prepare a bowl with cold water and lemon juice.
Clean the artichokes by eliminating their outer leaves; you can do this by bending them and snapping them off. Do this until you get to the leaves that are lighter in color. Cut off the tip of the central cone, to eliminate the tougher green end of the leaves. Cut the heart in half and scoop out the inside chokes with a knife or a small spoon. Cut the heart of the artichoke into thin slices and immerse in the lemon water.
heat until it sizzles when you drop some flour in the oil. This indicates that the oil is ready for frying.
Dredge slices of artichokes in the flour, shaking off the extra flour and then smother with the beaten eggs. When it is well coated carefully ease into the hot oil, repeat with as many slices as will fit into your frying pan without crowding. Let the artichokes brown on both sides turning after about a minute or two. When they are golden brown remove from the hot oil, hold them over the oil to drain of excess oil and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat this process with the rest of the artichokes, piling them on the plate with paper towels between each layer. Sat generously and serve.