Fried artichoke hearts are one of those dishes that I used to make only for special occasions. Why? I’m not sure. It’s simple enough to make, and I LOVE them! Yet, I’d never think of making them on, let’s say, an average Tuesday night. In my mind, they’re for dinner guests only or special occasions.
Perhaps it is my memory of these delectable morsels always showing up on a holiday table. My mom always made these for Christmas Day dinner and Easter dinner. You could also count on them being served for a special Sunday dinner with family. They were indeed “a treat” and considered “for special occasions only.” I have followed this tradition……until now.
Once I realized how easy they are to make, and how much I miss them during the year, I’ve started to make them regularly. However, at this time of year, I especially desire them, as I can see a beautiful plate of artichokes sitting on our Christmas table year after year, throughout my childhood, right into adulthood. Somehow, fried artichoke hearts mean “Christmas” to me.
Perhaps this year, you’ll be looking for something different to add to your Christmas Day feast. May I suggest you give this recipe a try? You can make them ahead, and then just warm them up in the oven before serving, I especially love them the next day (if there are leftovers), nice and warm, with some shavings of parmigiano cheese on top, with maybe a squeeze of lemon. It’s one of my favorite lunches.
Most recipes for fried artichokes use bread crumbs, but my mother always used seasoned flour. I’m sure this was how her mother made them. While I sometimes switch out the flour for breadcrumbs, when it’s the Holidays, I always follow my mom’s recipe. To me, this is the special dish that I remember.
2 9 ounce packages of frozen artichoke hearts (you can also use canned, not marinated)
2 cups flour
1 TBSP sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
olive oil for frying
- Defrost artichoke hearts, if using frozen.
- Beat the eggs with whisk and add the cheese. Beat again.
- Combine the flour, salt and pepper in another dish.
- Heat the oil in a large fry pan.
- Dip a few hearts at a time into the egg, then flour, coating well.
- Gently place in the oil, turning occasionally until golden brown.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove from the oil and place on paper towels to drain.
- Once drained, place in a pyrex or any dish that can go in the oven.
- Before serving, heat in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.
- Nice to serve with lemon wedges on the side.