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To prepare artichokes for frying, remove first few layers of leaves until pale yellow ones with green tips are revealed. Using a paring knife, trim base of any hard outer layer. Peel stem until you reach pale colored center. Cut artichoke in half lengthwise, and trim thorny top. Remove fuzzy centers with spoon or melon baller. Immediately, place into large bowl filled with cold water and squeezed lemons until ready to fry.
Fill large pot with enough oil to cover artichokes and place over medium flame. Rinse artichokes well and dry completely. If using thermometer, oil should register 325 degrees. If not, place a single artichoke leaf in hot oil. It should sizzle immediately. When oil is hot, add artichokes and cook 15 minutes until a knife can pierce stem.
Turn heat up and cook another 3-4 minutes, until crispy. Drain on paper towel-lined plate and season with sea salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately, with some lemon, or an aioli dipping sauce.