One of my, and my families favourites. You can’t go wrong with this and a sure thing to impress your friends when they come over for dinner.
Artichokes are free of fat, saturated fat, and free of cholesterol. The lovely artichoke is low in sodium, and low in calories. They are a good source of fibre, vitamin C, folate and magnesium. Often intimidating ( and I wasted YEARS not enjoying them as I was too scared to try to prepare them!!) once you master the initial preparation, then you have many dishes that you can easily prepare.
Ingredients – to serve 4 adults
( if extra hungry just do more as they will ALWAYS get eaten)
Olive Oil for frying
some chopped parsley ( mint can work too or fine with nothing if you don’t have any herbs)
To Prepare the artichokes….
** HINT** put disposal gloves on as it prevents your nails from going black. If you don’t have gloves then rub your names into the open lemon and this should remove any stains. Prepare a bowl of cold water with the lemon squeezed into it
Peel back & remove the outer leaves of the artichokes, don’t be shy, peel back more than you originally think otherwise you are left with the hard leaves that you can’t chew. Now cut about 2-3 cms ( an inch) off the top.
Cut them in half lengthwise then with the tip of a knife scoop out any of the prickly, fluffy inside ‘choke’.
Then cut the halves into 2-3 pieces lengthways. Remember that they are only in the oil for a short time so if they are too chunky they won’t cook properly and will be hard. Personally 1 artichoke ends up in 6 pieces in my house.
As you prepare them place them in the lemon water to prevent them from getting black.
Once this is done make your batter by combining some flour & a bit of water. If too runny add flour, if too thick add a bit of water. This isn’t rocket science and should be like a pancake batter. If you want to you can add some ice cubes to make the batter extra cold as this is what gives a good crunch to the batter, the contrast between the hot oil and cold batter.
Drain and add your artichoke pieces to the batter and make sure they are all coated well.
You must use extra virgin olive oil for frying otherwise it just won’t be the same…
Heat your extra virgin olive oil in a frypan ( non stick works well) and when hot ( not smoking) using tongs start placing the artichoke pieces. A couple of minutes either side is great. Just use your better judgement to when they are done, there is no steadfast rule. They will clump together and you may end up with lots of pieces in one larger piece but it doesn’t matter!
Remove with a slotted spoon or tongs, drain on paper towels, give a good sprinkle of salt and serve with some cut lemon if you like.
Wonderful also as a side dish served with steak or you can even be really fancy and make an artichoke risotto and serve it with some fried artichokes on top.
Let me know how they turn out for you and would love to see some photos of the finished product….
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