Fried artichokes with crispy lemon polenta

At this time of year the market is full of tables showing off their selection of artichokes. From compact and spiky to large flowering specimens with leaves containing subtle hues of purple. The only question was, which ones should I purchase? I selected bright green ones medium in size with tightly packed leaves. You could make this dish as a side, or as I have, build a meal around them.
For the Artichokes
Preparation time: 20 min (depending on how many artichokes you have)
Cooking time: 40 min
Serves 4
Ingredients:
  • 8 fresh artichokes (with stems intact) 
  • 1 lemon 
  • 1 sweet onion: minced 
  • 1 med. carrot: small dice
  • 2 med. tomatoes: blanched and med. diced 
  • 1-2 cups of water (or stock)
  • 3 tbsp butter: 1/2 to fry 1/2 to finish the reduced sauce
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper: to taste 

Preparation:

Take a large bowl fill with water and juice the lemon into it. This is very important, otherwise your cut artichokes will oxidize. Take an artichoke, cut off the top 1/3 of the head. Cut the stem to a length of 3 inches (7cm). Now break off the leaves until you reach the pale yellow ones near the center. Using a peeler remove the tough stringy surface off the stems and place your artichoke in the lemon water. Repeat with the remaining artichokes.
In a large pot gently saute your onions in a little in olive oil until translucent. Add your carrot and tomatoes placing each artichoke on top, choke side down. Pour over the amount of water or stock you want (I used 1 1/2 cups), put the lid on and braise for 20-25 min. Remove from the heat and let cool, saving the liquid. When cool enough to handle pull off the remaining leaves and using a spoon gently remove the choke, cutting each one in half. Heat the butter and olive oil and fry until brown and crispy. While you are frying the artichokes, take the braising liquid and reduce over med heat adding the remaining butter to finish. 

For the lemon polenta
Preparation time: 5 min
Cooking time: 30 min
Serves: 4
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup polenta 
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • Zest of 2 lemons: Finely chopped 
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup hard salty cheese, grated 
  • Salt and pepper: to taste 
  • Garlic: 2 cloves finely chopped 
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • Olive oil

Preparation:

Prepare polenta in same way as my previous post. The only difference is that I used stock instead of water, I spread it out thinner, and when spread out I pressed a layer of grated cheese into the surface. The rest is the same. 

To serve:
Take 3 of your polenta squares and 4 of your fried artichoke pieces and arrange on your plate. Drizzle some of your reduced sauce over the top and enjoy.
heathcat
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4 Responses to Fried artichokes with crispy lemon polenta

  1. I like artichokes but have always been afraid of the prep. Do you need special kitchen shears to cut the artichokes or can you use regular scissors? Love your blog!

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