- 2 to 3 quarts peanut, grapeseed or other vegetable oil
- 4 cleaned whole squid (about 1 pound)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 6 baby artichokes
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 lemons (1 sliced very thin; the other cut into wedges)
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced very thin
- 1 large handful fresh parsley leaves, plus chopped parsley for sprinkling
- 1 small handful fresh rosemary leaves
Heat the oil: Fill a large, heavy-based saucepan about halfway with oil. Begin to heat the oil over medium heat but don't let it get ripping until you have everything else ready to go.
Prepare the squid and vegetables: Separate the bodies and the tentacles of the squid. If the squid are big, cut the tentacles in half. Cut the squid bodies open so they lie flat, then cut into 1/4-inch-thick, 1 1/2-inch-long strips. Soak the squid in the milk while you prepare the rest of the fritto misto.
Trim the artichoke stems and remove the outer leaves. Slice them very thinly through the stem end. (If you have true baby artichokes, you don't have to worry about the choke; if you can only find large artichokes, remove the spiny choke before slicing.) Trim the ends off the zucchini and slice lengthwise about 1/4 inch thick, then cut into 1 1/2-inch-long sticks.
Set up your fry station: On a sheet pan or large platter, combine the flour, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Have the sliced lemon, garlic, parsley and rosemary prepared and nearby. Line a platter with paper towels or parchment paper.
Increase the heat of the oil until it reaches 375 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer. Meanwhile, drain the squid; toss the squid, artichokes and zucchini in the flour. Shake the baking sheet back and forth to coat the ingredients.
Once the oil is up to temperature, add about one-third of the floured goods, plus a few of the lemon and garlic slices, and let cook for about 1 minute. Add about a third of the rosemary and the parsley and continue to cook until the vegetables and squid are a light golden brown, another 1 to 2 minutes. Using a spider or a Chinese strainer (or as a last resort, a slotted spoon), transfer the fried foods to the lined platter to drain. Season with more salt and chopped parsley and serve with the lemon wedges. This is best served hot, so let your guests dig in while you begin cooking the next batch.
Photograph by David Malosh