The artichokes Jewish-style (carciofi alla giudia) is a traditional recipe from Rome, that greatly enhances the flavor and taste of the artichoke!
Today at the market I bought these beautiful globe artichokes, Romanesco variety, and I want to make a traditional recipe of the Roman-Jewish cuisine: the artichokes Jewish-style. Let’s make it together!
Ingredients for 4 servings:
• 4 globe artichokes (Romanesco) • 1 lemon
• salt and pepper to taste
• 3 pints (1 ½ lt) of extra virgin olive oil
The first and most important step of this recipe is to clean and cut the artichokes: take a bowl of cold water, cut and squeeze a lemon, but, before that, rub your hands with it: as you all know, cleaning artichokes make your hands turn black, so the lemon will help save your fingers! Squeeze and mix the juice with the water, in which the artichokes will be soaked, to prevent them from turning brown as well. Add the squeezed lemon, too… and now, let’s start: get hold of a paring knife like this, but before that, pull off the tough outer leaves of the artichokes, until you get to the tender ones. When the base of the leaves is lighter in colour, that is the edible part, so you can stop. Take the paring knife, with a curved blade … and make a horizontal cut, to remove the upper half of the leaves. As you can see, you can rotate the artichoke with one hand and cut the leaves with the other one… and work your way to the centre. It looks like a rose bud. At this point, the artichoke is ready, you just need to cut off the bottom of the stem, if it’s too long, and remove the scales at the base, along with the fibrous outer part of the stem. Now the artichoke is perfectly cleaned, so plunge into the water, which has been acidulated with lemon juice, and let it sit for at least 10 minutes, perhaps using a plate to keep it down, and repeat with the remaining artichokes.
After 10 minutes, take the artichokes out of the water and place them upside down to drain. Now beat them one against the other to remove the excess water and open the leaves a little. Pat them dry… in the meantime, heat the oil, it has to be olive oil, to about 300°F (150°C), so it should be hot, but not too hot; you may also use a deep fryer. Here we are, the oil is at the right temperature, so add the artichokes… and allow them to fry for at least 10-15 minutes, it depends on the size of the artichoke; as you can notice, this recipe calls for a large amount of oil, because the artichokes should be submerged; if they’re not completely covered, like this one, you can turn them over occasionally.
It’s time to take the artichokes out of the oil; to test for doneness, insert a fork into the bottom of the artichoke: if you can pierce it easily, the artichoke is done and ready to be drained. Now let them cool.
Take the cooled artichokes and pull the leaves apart to expose the centre; as you can see this artichoke variety has no thorns and no hairy choke, otherwise they should be removed during preparation. Now season the inside with salt and pepper. Then deep-fry again for a couple of minutes, to make them more crispy. At this step, some people sprinkle the artichokes with white wine or water. Now drain the artichokes… and repeat with the others.
While you are frying, drain the artichoke leaves with a slotted spoon, they taste like potato chips, so they are excellent to eat! Now let’s see if they taste as good as the original ones… yes, they do! Enjoy your carciofi alla giudia!