The is NO question what my favorite thing I ate in Rome was and my cousin and culinary partner in crime will also agree...these fried artichokes shown above. Now, I'm not kidding, these melted in your mouth and were seasoned so perfectly. The restaurant that served this delight just happened to be located right outside the Pantheon (which is Greek for "The temple of all Gods") on the lovely Piazza della Minerva. This classic Roman Dish (also called Rome's Jewish Fried Artichokes) dates back to Imperial times.
Now, I know that frying foods in your house can make it reek. We all know the smell permeates. That's why you should always have the fan, a couple windows and even a door (if possible) open to help with the smoke. Trust me, these are worth it. I already miss these and will dream of them. No kidding. They rocked.
Fried Artichokes (Carciofi Friiti)
To serve 6 you'll need:
6 artichokes (they should be firm and feel solid -- soft or light artichokes will probably have fuzzy hearts)
The juice of 1/2 a lemon
An egg, lightly beaten
Oil for frying
Squeeze the lemon into a bowl of water, drop the rind into the bowl, and add a pinch of salt and a little bit of flour (not enough to make a paste). Peel away the tough outer leaves of the artichokes, trim the tops perpendicular to the length of the artichokes, and cut the artichokes into eighths.
Soak them in the acidulated water for an hour. Then rinse them, pat them dry, flour them, dredge them in the egg, and fry them until crisp and golden in hot, but not really hot oil (you don't want the outside to burn before the inside is cooked).
Season with sea salt. Enjoy!