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Artichokes Roman Jewish-style

  • 30 minutes
  • Medium
  • Appetizers
The flavor of the artichokes is exalted by this simple, traditional recipe from the Jewish quarter of Rome.

Ingredients: Per 4 servings

  • 4 artichokes
  • 3 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon


Remove the hard leaves from the artichokes, cut stalk leaving about 1,2 inches of it.

With a very sharp small knife, shape the artichoke from top to bottom turning it, so as to remove only the hard part of the leaves. Soak the artichoke in water with the juice of one lemon and repeat the operation for each single artichoke. Meanwhile, in a pan heat up plenty of oil.

Drain the artichokes, dry them and press them lengthwise on the table to open the leaves. Each operation must be repeated for each single artichoke.

Season the inside of the artichokes with salt and pepper. Then dip the artichokes into the boiling oil with the stalk up, cook per about 10 minutes, then turn them upside down and cook on the other side, for the same time.

Drain them on straw or absorbent paper and serve hot.

Food History

The artichoke is a plant originally from the Mediterranean area. Botanists believe that artichokes come from wild cardoons and that they have been cultivated since before the time of the Etruscans.
The flowers of the artichoke plant were loved by both the Romans and the Greeks, the later of whom believed that they were of a gift of the gods. It is important to point out, however, that the artichokes grow in ancient times were quite different than the varieties available today. In the 15th century, artichokes were planted in southern Italy for this first time and were similar to the modern varieties.  It is believed that artichokes started out in Sicily and then spread throughout Europe. In 1466, artichokes were served to Catherine de’Medici who introduced them to her husband King Henry II of France. After reaching France, the artichoke then spread to England, Spain and finally to America.

Did you know that...

Artichokes have inspired famous poets? Pablo Neruda wrote a poem called “Oda a la Alcachofa” (Ode to the Artichoke) in 1971.

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