• Fried Artichokes with Lemon Aioli


Carciofi alla Giudìa

By Andrew Zimmern

Literally meaning “Jewish-style artichokes,” this recipe for deep-fried artichokes is a Roman specialty, originating in the city’s Jewish neighborhood. Feel free to cut the recipe in half, or double, depending on your party size.

Fried Artichokes with Lemon Aioli


  • 30 baby artichokes
  • Lemon juice
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Sea salt

Lemon Aioli

  • 1 egg
  • 1  1/2 cup evoo
  • 1/2 cup garlic oil
  • 3 cloves garlic confit
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 anchovy, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons minced preserved lemon

Preserved Lemon

  • 6 lemons, or 2 pounds of mixed sour citrus (Buddha’s hand, finger limes, kumquats, etc)
  • Thai chile for heat (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • Sugar
  • Olive oil


The Artichokes

Wash and drain the artichokes, and strip them of the coarse outer leaves around the base and stalk. Leave the softer leaves on. Using a paring knife or peeler, peel the stalks and trim to about two inches below the base. Slice off the top 1/2 inch of the artichokes. Cut each artichoke in half. Rub in lemon juice to keep from browning.

Fry in batches at 250 degrees until they start to brown around the edges.

Lay them cut side down on sheet trays lined with paper towels.

To serve, fry again at 375 degrees for a few moments until crisp. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve with a lemon aioli.

MAKE AHEAD You can fry the artichokes the first time the day before, then refry just before serving.

Lemon Aioli


Peel the garlic. Place the olive oil and garlic cloves in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat, cooking very gently for about 30 minutes, or until the cloves are tender and a knife can pierce them easily. Let the garlic cool in the oil. Reserve the oil.

Once cool, mince the garlic cloves with the salt.

In a blender or food processor, blend the egg with the garlic and salt mixture. As you blend, slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup of the reserved garlic-infused olive oil, along with the additional 1  1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil. Next, blend in the mustard, anchovy, minced preserved lemon, lemon juice and lemon zest.

Preserved Lemon

Slice the lemons. Layer into a jar, alternating a dusting of sugar and salt between each layer. Add Thai chiles if you are using them. Let sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Fill the jar with enough olive oil to cover the lemons, and place back in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Drain the olive oil, and the lemons are ready for use.

Photograph by Madeleine Hill. 

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