An artichoke recipe for the Passover / Pesach festival is traditionally used by Sephardim (Jews whose ancestors came from either Spain and/or Portugal). The following crispy fried artichokes recipe made in the Jewish-style also qualifies as a vegan recipe. Vegan recipes must not contain any ingredients that derive from animals or animal by-products, including poultry and fish, and the following artichoke recipe abides by that criteria.
Crispy Fried Artichokes Recipe, Italian-Jewish-style (Carciofi alla Giudia Recipe)
4 medium-sized artichokes, with stems intact
Salt to taste
Instructions for the Crispy Fried Artichokes recipe, Jewish-style (Carciofi alla Giudia recipe):
- Fill a large bowl with water and squeeze the juice of one of the lemons into it. Halve the remaining lemon.
- Working with one artichoke at a time, cut off all but 1 1/2 inches (or 3.81-centimeters) of the stem.
- Pare the stems and the base, removing the dark green areas, then rub with the cut lemon.
- Remove all of the tough outer leaves, until you reach a pale green, pointy core about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches (or 3.18-centimeters to 3.81-centimeters) in diameter at its base.
- Carefully open the leaves by rapping the artichoke very gently on a tabletop or poking it open with your fingers.
- Be careful not to crack the leaves at their base.
- Carefully scoop out the choke with a melon baller or a small pointed spoon.
- Rub the artichoke with the cut lemon.
- After each artichoke is trimmed, drop it into the lemon water.
- When all artichokes have been trimmed, drain well, dry with a kitchen towel and place, stem up, on another towel.
- For the first cooking, select a pot that is large enough to hold all of the artichokes, stem up.
- Place them in the pot, fill halfway with olive oil and then add water to cover.
- Bring to a simmer and cook gently, uncovered, until just cooked through but not soft, about 15 to 17 minutes.
- Test the base with a thin wooden skewer.
- Using tongs, remove from the pot and place on a platter, stem up, pressing down gently to keep an open flower shape (Can be prepared 2 to 3 hours in advance.).
- For the second cooking, select a deep cast-iron frying pan.
- Pour in olive oil to a depth of 2 1/2 inches (or 6.35-centimeters) and heat to a low boil. Add 2 artichokes, stem up.
- Using tongs, hold them down, pressing on them to keep the open flower shape.
- Fry until golden and crisp, about 8 minutes.
- Drain on paper towels, then salt. Keep warm in a low oven.
- Fry the remaining artichokes the same way (It's almost impossible to do 4 at once, as you can't hold them down and flat.).
- Serve immediately.