Gastronomically speaking, you might say that it was
Hanukkah all year round in the Roman Ghetto--the enforced, segregated area where Rome's Jewish community lived from the 16th-19th century.
Resources were scarce during those centuries, and frying foods in oil was one of the cheapest--and therefore most common--ways to make dinner.
As a result, oily dishes like (fried artichokes), carciofi alla Guidia fritto misto (fried mixed vegetables), and filetti di baccala (fried cod filets) were commonplace throughout the year, not only in celebration of the Maccabees' miraculous Hanukkah lamp. When Hanukkah arrived, however, neither of the traditional fried dishes familiar to American Jews-- latkes and <<< Less
1 large head of curly endive
Safflower oil (for deep frying)
4 Tablespoons water
3/4 cup unbleached flour (or more as needed for dipping)
Salt and pepper
Zest of two lemons
Categories: Side Dish, Fried, Holidays, Vegan, Vegetarian, Hanukkah
Recipe slightly adapted from Joyce Goldstein's
Cucina Ebraica: Flavors of the Italian Jewish Kitchen. Wash endive thoroughly to remove any dirt. If it's a particularly large head of endive, cut it in half and store the rest for later use. Chop the endive roughly into approximately 3-inch pieces. Drop endive into a pot of salted boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the leaves are slightly softened, but not wilted or mushy. Drain, remove excess moisture with a towel, and allow to dry. Pour 2 inches of oil in a saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, beat eggs and water together in a bowl and set aside. Spread flour on a plate and set aside. When oil is hot, dip endive pieces one at a time into egg wash, then dip in the flour. Slip battered endive into oil in batches and deep-fry for about 3-4 minutes, turning with tongs until golden. Transfer to paper towels and allow to drain. Sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper, and lemon zest and serve immediately.
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