The trick to preparing this recipe is the olive oil, which does not get as hot as other oils. If you use an oil like canola, the artichokes will burn before they are tender. This is a simple recipe - really, more of a technique.
- 4 medium artichokes (about the size of a fist)
- Olive oil for frying
- 1 teaspoon fresh or dried rosemary
- 1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges, for garnish
Prepare the artichokes: Remove the tough outer leaves. Cut the base of the artichokes flat, so that they will sit upright. Turn the artichokes upside down and press down gently but firmly. The intention is to loosen the leaves slightly, so they will separate easily as the artichokes cook.
Pour about 1 inch of oil into a pot about 6 inches wide and 3 inches deep. Add the rosemary. Heat the oil over medium high heat until it is very hot, on the verge of smoking. Gently place the first artichoke into the oil with a pair of metal tongs. The oil will spatter. Cover the pot. As the artichoke fries, the leaves will open like a flower. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the artichoke is brown on the bottom. Carefully turn the artichoke over with the tongs. Press the artichoke down into the oil with the back of a metal ladle. Cook for about 4 minutes, pressing down repeatedly, until the top of the artichoke is browned. Remove the artichoke from the oil with the tongs and drain on paper towels. The artichoke should be about 1 inch thick, and look like a dried flower. Repeat for the remaining artichokes.
Sprinkle with salt to taste and serve with a lemon wedge.
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