Artichoke Fritters with Lemon-Thyme Dipping Sauce

By Ami Zarichnak

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I tasted these for the first time at a restaurant in Cleveland during an election party back in 2008.  I was hooked immediately, and then re-created them at home.  That year, I started taking them to an annual New Year’s Eve party at a friend’s house, and while she didn’t like artichokes, she requested that I bring them every year.  Yes, they’re that good!

 

Prep Time:  20 min
Cook Time: 20 min
 Makes approximately  18 each

 

Ingredients
Vegetable or canola oil
1 18-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Method
Prepare a deep fryer for frying, filling with canola oil to fill line.  Preheat to 350.  Or, alternatively, pour 3 inches of vegetable oil into a cast iron dutch oven  or other heavy pot and place over medium heat until a deep fry thermometer reads 350 degrees.

Coarsely chop the artichokes.  Put them into a bowl and add the garlic, scallions, milk, egg, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Mix the remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl  until well integrated, and mix into the artichoke ingredients.  Use a 1 oz. scoop or drop by tablespoonsful into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes, turning if needed. Work in batches until all the batter is gone. These will stay warm and crispy in a low oven until ready to serve.  Sprinkle with sea salt and serve with the lemon-thyme dipping sauce, below.

 

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Lemon-Thyme Dipping Sauce
Prep time:  15 minutes
Makes approximately 12 oz. of sauce

 

Ingredients
1 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon zest, or to taste
Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method
In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon zest and juice, and thyme.  Taste and adjust lemon flavor, if necessary, and then season liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Serve with fresh artichoke fritters.