Meat Free Monday One day a week can make a world of difference

Fried Violet Artichokes ‘à la Grecque’

Tom Oldroyd
  • Serves: 4 as a starter
  • Preparation: 30
  • Cooking: 60
  • Ready: 90

A true showstopper of a dish if ever there was one – you’ll never eat artichokes any other way again!


  • 5 violet artichokes
  • 1 litre water
  • 125 ml Chardonnay vinegar
  • 125 ml decent white wine
  • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bay leaves
  • a couple of sprigs of thyme and rosemary
  • white flour
  • lemon juice for braising the artichokes
  • salt and pepper


To prepare the artichokes

First prepare the artichokes for braising into lemon water (latex gloves advisable!): Working quickly, and using your hands, strip the tough outer petals off the artichokes – take off a couple of layers until you get to the more tender and tightly formed petals.

Next, with a speed veg peeler, peel the stems gently a couple of times around, being careful not to snap them.

Once the outer layers have been cleaned, remove the choke – with a sharp knife cut about an inch down from the spikey top.

Then, using a teaspoon, scoop out and around the fuzzy choke cleaning all the unpleasant choke out.

Once finished, place the cleaned artichoke into the acidulated water to prevent oxidisation as you repeat with the remaining artichokes.

To cook the artichokes

Combine the liquids in a large pan with the drained artichokes and aromatas – bring up to the boil slowly. Once the first bubbles of rolling boil start, drop the temperature to a barely moving simmer and let the artichokes sit with little pan movement for around 45 minutes to an hour. Test when the artichokes are done by piercing a toothpick through the thickest part of the stem with a little resistance. Remove from heat and allow to cool in the liquid – the residual heat will finish the last little cooking.

To prepare the artichokes for frying, remove each one from the liquid and slice lengthways with a sharp knife and then again slicing the halves into eighths before tossing in lightly seasoned flour, shaking off any excess flour.

Fill a medium sized pan with vegetable oil and heat the oil to around 180°C/250°F.

Fry for approximately 3 minutes or until golden looking and crispy.

Et voilà!

Additonal notes

Recipe courtesy of Tom Oldroyd and OLDROYD

OLDROYD is the first solo restaurant from former Chef Director of the Polpo Group, Tom Oldroyd. It opened its doors in 2015 in Islington and offers a daily changing European menu built around the best seasonal British ingredients. Mondays at OLDROYD restaurant are now exclusively meat free, with menus built solely of vegetarian and vegan dishes including Fritto Misto di Verdure with Zucchini Flowers, Violetta Artichokes & Wild Garlic, and Grilled Leeks Jersey Royals & Salsa Romesco. Everything on the Monday menu is vegetarian and vegan.

Twitter: @OldroydLondon
Instagram: @OldroydLondon

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