Recipe: Crispy artichokes with lemon and sage by Ben Tish

You can use either baby globe artichokes or larger ones for this recipe. To be honest, this could just as easily have made its appearance in the ‘Tapas and small plates’ chapter, as these artichokes are delicious on their own or as a salty snack with an aperitif. I love serving them with grilled fish as a take on good old fish and chips. Cook these either on your barbecue or on the stovetop.

Serves 4
8 baby globe artichokes or 4 regular ones, prepared and cooked (see page 82)
plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting
olive oil, for deep-frying
16–20 sage leaves
1 lemon, cut into wedges
sea salt and black pepper

Ben Tish Artichokes

If cooking on the barbecue, light and set for direct/indirect cooking.
Drain the cooked artichokes and leave to cool, then slice them very thinly lengthwise using a sharp knife. Dust with flour, ensuring the artichoke slices are completely coated.
Heat a 3cm (11⁄4in) depth of olive oil in a medium saucepan until very hot, either in the direct heat zone of your barbecue or on the stovetop. Check the oil is hot enough by carefully, with a pair of tongs, dipping the corner of an artichoke slice into the oil: if it sizzles straightaway, the oil is ready.

Quickly fry the sage leaves in the hot oil until crisp. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and drain well on paper towels.
Working in batches, gently slip the artichoke slices into the oil and cook until crisp and golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.

Season the artichokes with salt and pepper, then scatter over the crispy sage leaves and serve with lemon wedges on the side.

To prepare the artichokes:

juice of 1⁄2 lemon
300ml (11⁄4 cups) white wine
300ml (11⁄4 cups) white wine vinegar, plus a splash extra
5 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
sea salt and black pepper

Trim the ends of the stalks from the artichokes, then keep trimming away the woody, dark-green leaves until you reach the pale-green hearts. With a sharp peeler, peel from the base of the heart to the ends of the stalks, to reveal the tender, pale-green flesh. Use a teaspoon to scrape out the hairy choke, if there is any. Immediately rub the artichokes all over with lemon juice to stop them discolouring, then place in a non- reactive saucepan.

When all the artichokes are prepared, add the wine, vinegar, peppercorns, bay leaf, thyme and a sprinkle of salt to the pan, then pour in enough cold water to cover. Place on the stovetop and bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 12–14 minutes, or until the artichokes are tender (a small knife inserted into the fattest part of the artichoke shouldn’t meet any resistance). Drain the artichokes, then leave to cool and dry on paper towel before cutting in half lengthwise.


Recipe taken from the book Grill Smoke BBQ by Ben Tish, Chef Director at Ember Yard (Quadrille, £25)
Photography: Kris Kirkham