Puglian fried Artichokes
This is a dish you absolutely must try! It is one of our ‘Top Five’ favourite vegetables! As you know, Puglian cuisine is famous for its use of fresh seasonal vegetables and this is the season for artichokes. The beautiful and tasty baby artichokes you find all around Italy are used in so many different ways (have you tried our stuffed artichoke recipe?).
These small spheres of crispy deliciousness are well worth the calories!
Not only are they delicious to eat, they have an incredible amount of health benefits for the body: It is a diuretic vegetable, has excellent nutritional value, aids digestion, strengthens the liver, the gall bladder, and reduces cholesterol levels.
This dish can be served as a starter, main course or on the side. But do not be fooled, it is so delicious; it will be the main attraction, hot or cold and gone in a flash!
Ingredients (adapt to fit amount of artichokes being used)
- 12 baby artichokes
- 10 eggs
- 10 tablespoons flour (any type)
- 2 lemons
- 100g parmesan cheese
- 100g pecorino cheese ( or 200g in total of Parmesan if Pecorino difficult to find)
- Salt for seasoning
- Sunflower oil for frying
- Plastic bag for coating
Use gloves when cleaning the artichokes as when you begin to clean them, they will stain your fingers!
Preparing the artichokes:
Clean and wash the artichokes.
Prepare a large bowl with cold water, the lemons squeezed and put into the water and 2 tablespoons of flour. This will keep the artichokes from discolouring.
Remove the outer leaves (the hardest ones) and cut off the upper part (approx. 1/3 of the artichoke - the tops where it is a bit like thorns).
It looks like you are wasting a lot but this part of the vegetable is very hard and is not needed.
Cut the stem off and trim it to remove the outer stringy bits – just like you would clean celery and put into the bowl with the water.
Slice each artichoke from the base to the tip (you should get approx. 3 slices per artichoke) and immediately place into the bowl of water.
Preparing the batter:
In another bowl, prepare the batter by mixing the eggs, parmesan and pecorino together. You should have the consistency of a very thick batter.
Bringing the dish together:
Empty the bowl of water and rinse all the trimmed artichokes so that they are free of the flour/lemon water. Dry them on a kitchen towel/cloth.
Put the remainder of the flour into the plastic bag and add a handful of the artichokes. Shake the bag so that they are all lightly coated in the flour then one by one, remove excess flour and place them into the bowl with the egg and cheese mixture.
Heat a large frying pan with sunflower oil (approx. 3cm oil)
Using a fork, turn each artichoke in the egg batter mixture so they are well coated.
Carefully place an artichoke into the hot oil and spoon extra mixture onto it. Do this until your pan is full but do not over-fill it.
Continue to place your floured and battered artichokes into the hot oil – making sure you add extra batter to each one.
After a minute or two, when golden, turn the artichokes.
When both sides are golden, remove and place on an absorbent kitchen towel.
When all the artichokes have been fried and drained, add a light sprinkling of salt – but not too much as the parmesan and pecorino are salty.
Then serve these delicious, golden nuggets of deliciousness – hot or cold to your family and friends.
Serve with a bottle of our fabulous Terre Di San Vito Mosi rosé wine.
Wear gloves when cleaning the artichokes.
Use mini, baby artichokes, not the large globe artichoke as they do not have the fibrous ‘choke’ in the heart.
This dish can be eaten, hot or cold.