Full recipe for perfect Jewish style artichokes or Carciofi alla Giudia: Jewish style deep fried artichokes from Rome.
One of the most peculiar distinctive and unique dishes in the world of Rome food are the so-called ‘Carciofi alla Giudia’, artichokes ‘Jewish style’.
Jewish style artichokes are deep-fried artichokes that, as the name suggests, have their origins ins the Jewish community of Rome.
They are a very common, delicious Rome appetizer and while they can be tasted at their best in the Jewish get of Rome, the area around portico d’Ottavia, have become such a staple of Roman cuisine, you can find them in many trattorias all over the city.
The main characteristics of the Jewish style artichokes from Rome is that they are served whole and therefore resemble a large, golden flower (which is just what they are: artichokes are flowers!).
They are not hard to make however, they can prove tricky as they really only work out properly if you have the right type of artichoke, the one Romans call ‘mammola’ or ‘romanesco’ and in English is often called ‘globe artichoke’.
This is my recipe for Jewish style, deep fried Rome artichokes. Happy cooking!
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Are Jewish style artichokes the same as Roman-style artichokes?
Jewish style artichokes or carciofi alla giudia are a traditional dish from Rome, however, they are very different from another Rome artichoke based dish, the so-called ‘Roman-style artichoke’ or ‘carciofi Alla Romana’.
I know this can be confusing, the names indeed make it hard to distinguish one for the other. However, all it takes is to taste one of each once, or even look at them, to never get confused again!
Roman style artichokes are stewed and made with herbs (you can find the recipe here), while Jewish style artichokes are deep-fried.
The deep-fried, Jewish version, is served whole, as an appetizer, and looks really impressive: cooked this way, the artichoke truly keeps its flower look and becomes a real show stopper!
What are the best artichokes for this Jewish Style artichoke recipe?
The question about the type of artichoke to use in this recipe is the most important one and also the trickiest if you are not in Rome or you want to cook this recipe out of season.
The best artichokes to use are those Romans call ‘mammole’ or ‘romaneschi’, the rounder bigger variety of artichokes often called ‘Globe artichoke’ in English.
You can see the difference in the next two photos, the romanesco is the second one: very distinctive!
Fun fact: you can tell how traditional that type of artichoke is from the photo (taken at the market) and the handwritten note with the name misspelled!
Jewish style artichokes recipe: what you need
Making jewish style artichokes the Rome was is really easy. You will need:
- Your artichokes
- A sharp knife
- A generous amount of olive oil
- A pan with deep sides
- A bowl with water and lemon juice
Need to know: raw artichokes stain your hands black. To avoid this, use single-use cooking gloves or clean your hands afterward with lemon. be careful with the lemon: it can make sensitive skin really sore!
How to make Jewish style artichokes: the process
Start by cleaning your artichokes. Peel away the hardest, most external leaves: take away as many as you need to get to the inner part of your artichoke, with lighter colored, much softer leaves.
With the aid of a sharp knife, chop off the top part of the artichoke and scoop out the fluffy bit inside, inedible. Use your knife to also remove the most external part of the stem and shorten it, so that it is just 2 – 3 inches long.
If making more than one artichoke, place the one you just readies into a bowl with water and lemon: this will prevent it from turning black while you prepare the others.
Top tip: artichokes float! To prevent part of the artichoke to turn black, take some kitchen paper and put it on top of it, making sure it absorbs part of the lemon water. The wet lemony paper will protect the artichoke from turning dark!
Once your artichokes are ready, bash them against each other (gently!) so that their petals open up, then dress with salt.
Then, heat up a generous amount of olive oil in a pan and immerse them, face down.
Let them cook for about 15 minutes, then take them out and put them face down: press down gently so that they open up a little more and they truly resemble a large rose.
Return them to the oil and cook in the same way for about 2 minutes more. Serve hot!
- Roman artichoke (or globe artichoke): one per person
- Olive oil
- Prepare a bowl with water and lemon juice (if making more than one artichoke)
- Start prepping your artichoke taking away as many external, hard leaves as possible. You need to get to the lighter-colored, softer leaves inside, a few layers deep in your flower.
- Then, use a sharp knife to chop off the top part of the artichoke and scoop out the inner fluffy bits
- With the knife again, trim the stem so that it is no longer than about 3 inches. Also, cut away the most eternal, stringy part of the stem.
- Once ready, if making more than one artichoke, immerse the first one in the water+lemon bow: this will prevent it from turning dark while you prep the others. If only making one, you can skip this step.
- Put a generous amount of olive oil in a pot, turn on the hob and wait for the oil to be hot.
- Take your artichokes, beat them against each other to help them open up and put them face down into the oil.
- let them cook for about 1 min, then take them away and use a fork to open up the petals a little more
- Season with salt and pepper and return to the oil for a couple more minutes.
- Serve hot!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 125Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 582mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
Nutritional information for this recipe are just an estimate and should only be taken as general guidelines