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Fried Artichokes With Membrillo Alioli

Use sweet quince paste to take your aioli to a whole new level!
Fried Artichokes with Membrillo Alioli
Laura Edwards

When I start cooking these, I can’t stop eating them – they are so delicious. This is a different way to eat artichokes and is great with a cold beer.

Membrillo (quince paste) alioli, or allioli de codony in Catalan, is typical of the region of Pallars, and is a good accompaniment to grilled fish and meat, as well as vegetables. — José Pizarro, author of Catalonia

Ingredients

For the fried artichokes

  • 6 baby globe artichokes
  • Sea salt
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 Cup plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 oz / scant 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 –7 fl oz sparkling water
  • Olive oil for deep-frying

For the alioli

  • 1 1/2 Ounce membrillo
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 free-range egg yolk
  • 2 Teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 5 fl oz olive oil

Directions

For the fried artichokes

Clean the artichokes. Slice the stem off a few centimeters before the base and remove and discard a few of the outer leaves. Slice them very finely with a mandolin and put in a bowl of water with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Whisk the flours and baking powder with enough of the sparkling water to get a thick but not clumpy batter. Drain the artichokes and pat them dry with kitchen paper.

Heat the oil in a large pan to 180ºC (350ºF). Dip the artichoke slices in the batter then drop into the oil and fry for a minute or two until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and season with sea salt. Serve with the alioli.

For the alioli

To make the alioli, mash the membrillo and garlic together in a pestle and mortar. Add the egg yolk and vinegar and a pinch of salt. Spoon into a bowl and gradually whisk in the olive oil to form a glossy alioli.

Recipes excerpted with permission from Catalonia: Recipes from Barcelona and Beyond by : José Pizarro (Hardie Grant Books, 2017)