Fried artichoke omelette

Fried artichoke omelette

Tortino di carciofi

By
From
Acquacotta
Serves
4 as antipasto
Photographer
Emiko Davies; Lauren Bamford

When I inevitably come home with bunches of this versatile vegetable from the market, I am tempted to use them in everything, from pasta and risotto to salad and fritattas. There are so many delicious ways to enjoy artichokes, but what makes this such a wonderful dish is the combination of two things – the fried artichokes, which become at once nutty and crisp on the outside but also meltingly soft. And the egg, which is pushed around the hot pan and cooked quickly so that it remains soft and wobbly, a little like just-cooked scrambled eggs.

The dish is inspired by a recipe from the heart of Jewish Pitigliano at the turn of the century, one that Edda Servi Machlin calls ‘Tortino della Nonna Debora’, or her Grandma Debora’s omelette in The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews. It’s also very similar to a dish at one of my favourite trattorias in Florence, where they use little frying pans for individual omelettes – just the right size for an antipasto.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 lemon, juiced
4 medium artichokes
4 eggs
60ml extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Put the lemon juice into a bowl of water – this will stop the artichokes from oxidising. Pull off the outer leaves of the artichokes until you reach pale and tender leaves. Trim the stalks to about 1.5 cm from the base and peel the base and stalk of the artichoke, like you would peel a carrot. Slice the top half of the artichoke off completely. Cut in half and remove the furry choke with a teaspoon. Thinly slice and place the artichokes in the lemon water.
  2. Put the eggs in a bowl, add 1 tablespoon of water and a good pinch of salt and beat with a fork briefly – just enough to muddle them.
  3. Drain the artichoke slices and pat dry with paper towels. Heat a non-stick frying pan with the olive oil over medium–high heat. When hot, add the artichoke slices. Fry them, stirring often, until they are tender and golden-brown on the thinnest edges, about 5–7 minutes.
  4. Pour over the beaten eggs (they should sizzle immediately and set at the edges) and let them cook for about 10 seconds. Then, using a spatula, begin to move the egg around the pan a little, exposing the bottom of the pan in some places and tilting the pan to allow the uncooked egg to flow into those spaces. Continue cooking in this way for about 1 minute. When the mixture starts to thicken and firm up a little, but is still soft, slightly wobbly and glistening on top, remove from the heat. Slide onto a plate and serve immediately with plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
Tags:
Italian
Tuscany
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