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Crispy Globe Artichokes

ingredients

8 baby globe artichokes
juice of 1 lemon
light olive oil
salt

method

1. If you grow your own artichokes, the small side buds can be used for this recipe. Large Breton artichokes are too tough. Half fill a very large saucepan with salted water, add the lemon juice and bring to the boil.

2. Prepare the artichokes, trimming off the stems about 2 in (5 cm) from their bases; scrape off the outer layer from the stem; remove the lower, outer leaves. Remove the feathery choke enclosed by the leaves.
3. Rinse thoroughly, drain well and place upside down on a chopping board. Take hold of the stems one at a time and rotate the artichokes, pressing down hard against the board; to make them open out like flowers.

4. Blanch the artichokes for a full 5 minutes in the fast boiling acidulated water, drain well and place them upside down on a chopping board to dry off completely. Pour sufficient olive oil into a very wide, heavy-bottomed saucepan to give a depth of about 2 in (5 cm).

5. When it is very hot, but not smoking, place the artichokes upside down in it and fry over a moderately high heat until they are tender and the leaves are crisp and lightly browned. If using a deep-fryer, the oil should be kept at an even 350°F (180°C) throughout the frying time. Serve hot.

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