Pan-Fried Baby Artichokes with Gremolata


I’m not the biggest lover of artichokes, yet there’s something about the baby ones I find irresistible. Is the cute-ness factor?? Perhaps it was having recently come across a very interesting NY Times recipe using them.

Whatever it is, it helps with my wanting to keep trying things from my list I call…. ‘yeah, don’t really care for that’. It does work. Shrimp used to be on that list. Mussels. As did olives… and gin, oddly enough. I do believe your tastes & taste buds are always changing, so I like to keep trying things from this list. I must say, I’m liking and enjoying the process, and progress.

 

I couldn’t wait to try the recipe. If you follow it in detail, the results will be fantastic. While my results were tasty, I could’ve used more buttermilk than I had for the brief marinating period, as well as used more oil for the pan-frying. I found the centers could’ve been cooked a little more…  and the above points certainly would’ve helped with that. Also, in thinking back, I also could’ve cut more from the top of the artichoke.

As for the gremolata, it is classically used to garnish & freshen dishes that have a long & slow cooking process, such as osso buco. Turns out, some use it when they want to add a hit of freshness and zing. Amen to that~

Pan-Fried Baby Artichokes with Gremolata

When trimming the artichokes, cut off as much of the top as you think is necessary. I ended up using a serrated knife for this part, as my chef’s knife wouldn’t grab, to cut through all the layers. Be sure to have enough buttermilk to cover the trimmed artichokes, as it does a lot for the tenderness. This does make a lot, so cut down the recipe if you want.

Ingredients:
12 baby artichokes (about 11/2 pounds)
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch cayenne
Salt & pepper
Olive oil or vegetable oil, for frying
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped or grated lemon zest

Preparation:
Make the gremolata by combining the parsley, garlic & lemon zest. Set aside for later.

Remove the dark tough exterior leaves from artichokes, by pulling them down. Trim the stem end and cut off the top of each artichoke 1/2 to 1 inch. Then cut in half lengthwise and put in a bowl and cover with buttermilk – let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
 
Mix together flour, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Drain artichokes, dip in seasoned flour to coat and put on a plate in one layer.
 
Pour 1/2 inch oil in a wide skillet and place over medium-high heat. When oil is wavy, carefully slip in artichokes one at a time, taking care not to crowd the pan. (Fry in batches if necessary.) Let fry gently until one side is well browned, about 2 minutes, then turn over and brown other side. Drain on paper towels. 
 
Sprinkle with salt and generously with the gremolata. (I also tried one with sour cream!)