Deep Fried Artichoke Hearts with Lemon-Caper Basil Sauce

Be sure to buy frozen artichoke hearts with no seasoning (other than salt). To make these a couple of hours in advance, allow them to cool in a single un-crowded layer on a rack. To reheat and crisp, place an oiled sheet pan in a 350°F oven and let it get hot; add the artichokes in a single un-crowded layer and heat.

Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • Sauce:
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1 /2 teaspoons drained capers, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Artichokes:
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 9-ounce packages frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and drained
  • canola oil for frying

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 225°F.
  2. For the sauce, combine the mayonnaise, basil, juice, capers, zest and pepper in a bowl; mix well and reserve. Can be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated.
  3. For the artichokes, combine the flour, salt and pepper in a bowl. Working a few at a time, add artichoke hearts to the flour mixture and toss well to coat. Shake off excess flour and set artichokes on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining artichokes and flour.
  4. Heat 1-inch of the oil in a 4-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers and a pinch of flour added to it sizzles. Add 6 or 7 artichoke hearts to the oil and cook until golden brown, 4-5 minutes. Transfer artichokes to a large baking sheet covered with paper towels and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining artichoke hearts in batches. Serve hot or room temperature with the sauce.