I watched David Rocco make a raw artichoke salad on his show months ago and my mouth dropped. “That is so easy,” I thought. He removed most of the outer leaves of the artichoke and then thinly sliced the remaining part, added some olive oil and parmesan and ate it raw. I immediately tried it but his artichoke must have been a lot fresher than mine. Probably picked that day from an artichoke plant in his yard. I threw my raw artichoke salad into a skillet with some olive oil and garlic cooked it for about 5-10 minutes. Viola, a wonderful salad.
It reminded me of a late night meal I had in New York City a few years ago with my husband and a friend at a restaurant in lower Manhattan. Our friend, Bryant, was just getting off work and was eating a late dinner. Eric and I had just come from an earlier dinner with friends and weren’t the least bit hungry but before we knew it, we had ordered a couple appetizers. We couldn’t resist. They sounded too good. And the two things we ordered from the menu both stick in my mind to this day. Crispy Artichokes was one of them. Best thing ever. Fried of course. And in thin strings. I couldn’t put my fingers on how they actually made this. Until now. And the other item was pasta with onion sauce. They must have cooked those onions for 2 days. I have tried to replicate it and will continue to try. I just never seem to have the patience to wait that long for onions to cook.
These crispy artichokes are so quick and easy. Gone are the days that you have to boil an artichoke for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Although, dipping those leaves in butter is so comforting. But this is quick and delicious. Perfecto!
Here is a loose recipe. A little of this, a little of that. You need to peel away most of the outer leaves until you get to the softer center. Eating those tough leaves will not be a pleasant experience. And of course, the fresher the better. If your artichoke has been sitting in the fridge for a couple weeks, turning brownish, don’t use it for this recipe. I love how the parmesan gets crisp when it fries in the pan. It’s like that part of a grill cheese sandwich where a little piece of the cheese is hanging over the bread and it gets fried in the pan, That is the best part of the whole sandwich.