ANGINARES TIGANITES MESA SE SKORDALIA (Peloponnesos)
- 10 small artichokes, cleaned
- 2 lemons, halved
- 1 bowl of acidulated water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Olive or other oil for frying
- Two 1⁄2-inch-thick slices stale rustic bread, crusts removed
- 1 small head garlic, cloves peeled
- 1⁄2 to 2⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 to 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, to taste
- 2 cups water
Makes 4 servings
1. Wash and trim the artichokes. Immediately rub the artichokes with lemon and drop into the bowl of acidulated water.
2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the artichoke hearts until cooked al dente, about 5 minutes. Remove to a colander and rinse under cold running water.
3. Combine the flour with a little salt and pepper in a bowl or on a dinner plate. Dredge the artichokes in the seasoned flour, tapping off any excess. Heat about 1/2 inch of olive oil in a large heavy skillet. When very hot, fry the artichokes until browned and golden on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Strain and reserve the olive oil from the skillet for another use or discard. Wipe the skillet dry.
4. Run the stale bread under the tap and wring dry lightly. In a mortar, crush the garlic with a little salt and add the dampened bread, little by little, working it in with the pestle. As you work in the bread, add 1/2 to 2/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil and the vinegar, alternating between them until the mixture is thick and pasty. Slowly add the water, again working it in with the pestle. The mixture will be like a thick porridge.
5. Pour the garlic sauce into the skillet and heat it, stirring, over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the artichokes to the sauce and continue cooking, stirring gently, for another 3 to 4 minutes to heat through. Serve immediately.