So many think of Jewish food as being adaptation of prevalent
cuisine to _kashruth_, the Jewish dietary laws. I've been
fascinated to learn, particularly from "The World of Jewish
Cooking," by Gil Marks, how much other world cuisines have
also been influenced by Jewish innovations. There are
prominent examples in Italian cuisine, in particular.
Recently, I received a note from someone who rhapsodized over
the memory of the following dish from her student days in Italy.
This is from the Gil Marks book, which I highly recommend to
anyone who has an interest in the historic context of many of
our recipes and/or would enjoy an eclectic collection of
wonderful dishes from a variety of cultures where the Jews have
Carciofi alla Giudia
Jewish-Style Fried Artichokes
6 to 8 servings
Juice of 1 lemon
6 to 8 small artichokes
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
Olive or vegetable oil for deep frying
1. Add the lemon juice to a bowl of cold water. Cut off
about 1 inch from the top of each artichoke. Remove the
loose, tough outer leaves around the bottom. Scoop out the
choke, leaving the leaves and heart intact. Trim the dark
green exterior from the bottom and stem, leaving the stem
intact. Place the artichoke in the lemon water to prevent
2. Holding each artichoke by the stem, place top side down
on a flat surface, and press to loosen the leaves without
breaking. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Heat at least 1-1/2 inches of oli in a saucepan over
medium heat. In batches, add the artichokes and fry, turning
occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 20 minutes.
During frying, occasionally sprinkle the tops of the
artichokes with cold water, producing steam that helps to
cook the interior.
4. Drain the artichokes on paper towels. Place top side down
on a plate and let stand at least 1 hour.
5. Reheat the oil. Holding each artichoke by the stem, dip
into the oil, pressing the leaves against the bottom of the
pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
From "The World of Jewish Cooking," by Gil Marks
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