Deep-Fried Baby Artichokes in Crispy Batter

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Preparation info

    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

The Sugar Club Cookbook

By Peter Gordon

Published 1997

  • About

These baby artichokes are an excellent starter served with lots of shaved parmesan on top and a bitter leaf salad to the side. They also make a good canapé, especially if you can get them really small. As a side dish to accompany grilled fish they are a treat. I haven’t given quantities as how many you need will depend on what you are planning to do with them. For a starter I would serve two small artichokes per portion (by small I mean no bigger than an egg).

Ingredients

  • Baby artichokes (for quantity see note at foot of page)
  • plain flour to dust
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • Beer batter (the recipe’s, but halve the amount of paprika)
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ cup finely sliced spring onions

Method

Prepare the artichokes by removing the stems and the half dozen or so lower leaves around the base. Trim sharp-looking bits and cut off the tips if they are a bit woody. Cut them in half lengthways and remove any furry inner parts (though you’re unlikely to find these in small artichokes). Toss in flour immediately to prevent discolouring.

Heat up plenty of good-quality cooking oil in a deep pan or deep-fryer to 180°C/350°F. Mix the fennel seeds, cumin seeds and spring onions into the batter and then drop in the flour-dusted artichokes. Fry as many as will fit comfortably in the pan and stir them gently after a minute. Carefully tip over any that are cooking only on one side. They should be ready after 3-4 minutes – they’re done when a skewer can be pushed easily through the centre. Drain them on absorbent paper and eat while still warm.