Few recipes are better suited for casual, Italian entertaining than fritto misto. These crispy morsels are perfect for snacking before dinner is served, when friends and family crowd around the kitchen to make conversation.
Fritto misto can include any combination of ingredients, including seafood such as shrimp and squid or vegetables like green beans and asparagus. But the version our Test Kitchen created for this month’s Sicily theme focuses on light artichokes and lemon slices — it may sound surprising, but the latter are deliciously tangy when flash fried in oil.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to our favorite fritto misto, with photos straight from the Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen. Scroll down for the full recipe, then invite some friends over for a Sicilian celebration!
|Trim artichokes & coat with buttermilk
Trimming artichokes can be tedious, but they’re worth the effort for their bright, delicate flavor. See our tutorial on prepping artichokes to hone your skills.
|Slice lemons & place in buttermilk
Thin lemon slices work best in this recipe; use an adjustable slicer for precise cuts. Coat them in buttermilk in a separate bowl from the artichokes so the ingredients maintain distinct flavors.
|Mix the flours
A combination of all-purpose and semolina flours achieves the perfect crispy texture when fried. Be sure to season the mixture with plenty of salt for flavor.
|Drain & serve
After frying, place the artichoke and lemon slices on a baking sheet lined with paper towels and season again with salt. Arrange them on a platter and serve immediately — we recommend accompanying with garlicky aioli for dipping.
Artichoke and Lemon Fritto Misto
3 cups buttermilk
2 lemons, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups semolina flour
2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
Canola oil for frying
Aioli for serving
Working with 1 artichoke at a time, remove the tough outer leaves to expose the light yellow core. Using a knife, trim off the top. Using a spoon, remove the choke. Trim the stem end and cut the artichoke lengthwise into slices 1/4 inch thick. Place in a bowl and add half of the buttermilk to coat. Place the lemon slices in another bowl and coat with the remaining buttermilk.
In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, semolina flour and the 2 tsp. salt. In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, pour in oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat to 375°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
Working in batches, drain the artichokes well. Coat with the flour mixture, shaking off the excess. Fry the artichokes until golden and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and season with salt. Repeat with the lemons, frying them for 1 to 3 minutes.
Arrange the artichokes and lemons on a warmed platter and serve with aioli. Serves 4 to 6.