Carciofi alla romana (Roman-style artichokes)
- 50 min
- Kcal 205
Here is one of the cornerstones typical of Roman cuisine, a delicacy of regulars at the most famous taverns and restaurants in the center and the capital's jewish ghetto neighborhood. It is preceded only by the tough choice between carbonara, gricia and amatriciana. Jewish-style rtichokes is a delicious vegetable recipe for enjoying fried artichoke, often mistaken for another, equally delicious fried preparation: artichokes Roman style, which is cooked in a saucepan. The leaves are plucked off by hand and are as crunchy as chips. Everyone has their own technique for making Jewish-style rtichokes and we present you with our own version, which obviously involves frying some nicely plump purple artichokes!
To prepare Jewish-style artichokes, start by cleaning the purple artichokes: remove the tough end part of the stalk left over from when the artichoke was harvested. Remove the outermost leaves until you can see the ones at the bottom that are lighter in color. To open the leaves out, beat the artichoke against a cutting board, holding it by the stalk, without pressing down too hard so as not to break the leaves 3.
As you beat them you can spread them out by hand and when the artichoke opens out like a flower 4, continue to clean the other ones. Heat the seed oil in a pan, just enough to immerse the artichoke heads in. Heat to 340°F (170°C): we recommend you monitor the temperature using a thermometer, to ensure the artichokes cook evenly 5. Now immerse the first artichoke 6. Take care during this step, be sure to protect yourself from any splashes of hot oil.
Hold the stalk with cooking tongs to press the artichoke down on the bottom 7; cook for 6-7 minutes. In this way the flower won't lose its shape. Towards the end of the cooking time, turn the artichoke over onto its side so that the stalk cooks too 8 and then drain it. The first one is ready: drain it on some oil-absorbing cooking paper and repeat with all the others; once your Jewish-style artichokes are ready, don't forget to add salt 9!
Purple artichokes are the variety of choice for preparing this dish, as they have softer leaves and hearts.
After removing the outermost leaves, some prefer to tip the leaves too, although you can skip this step as when fried, the tips become just as crisp and golden.
If you prepare artichokes for frying well ahead, it is best to place them in acidulated water to keep them from darkening. If you choose to do so, be sure to drain and dry them off thoroughly before frying, to prevent water from coming into contact with boiling oil.
The artichokes must be fried in hot oil at 340°F (170°C); peanut seed oil is best, or extravirgin olive oil.
In some old taverns of Rome (or the city's ghetto neighborhood), some still fry artichokes twice: first in oil at a lower temperature to cook them evenly, and a second time in boiling oil, for crunchy leaves.
Jewish- style artichokes are best enjoyed freshly made. Storing them in any way that does not guarantee the crispiness and flavor of this dish when freshly made is not recommended.
Jewish-style artichokes are enjoyed plain, with nothing else. If you prefer you can serve them with a delicious citronette dressing to contrast the fat and enhance the flavor of the leaves which you'll dip in the sauce before biting into them, in all their crispness!