Serves 4

Ingredients

juice of 1 lemon

3 violet artichokes with long stems

2 portobello mushrooms, cut into 1 centimetre slices

6 small courgettes with their flowers attached

2 litres sunflower oil, for deep-frying

4 small Swiss chard leaves

6 large sage leaves

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

lemon wedges, to serve

For the sauce

1 chopped red chilli

2 tbsp of chopped mint

1 tbsp of red wine vinegar

For the batter

300g tipo 00 flour

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

250ml warm water

1 egg white

Method

1. First, fill a large bowl with water and add the lemon juice (or a handful of parsley stalks, which will do the same job), then prepare the artichokes one at a time. Remove the tough outer leaves to reveal the pale inner heart. Open the heart and, using a teaspoon, scoop out the hairy choke. Peel the stem to remove the tough outside, leaving just the tender core. Chop the artichoke vertically in half, then cut into slices. Without delay, immerse the artichoke in the lemon water solution to prevent it from turning brown.

2. Next, make the batter. Put the flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle. Pour the oil into the well, then mix the oil and flour together while slowly adding the warm water. Mix until the batter is smooth with the consistency of double cream.

3. Put a deep, heavy-based pan containing the sunflower oil on to heat to 180°C. Preheat a warm oven.

4. Drain the artichokes and dry on kitchen paper.

5. When the oil is nearly up to temperature, in another bowl whisk the egg white to soft peaks, then carefully fold into the batter.

6. Fry the vegetables separately in batches, adding the sage leaves to the chard. Dip the vegetables into the batter and shake off excess, then deep-fry in the hot oil for 3–4 minutes until crisp and golden brown all over. Drain on kitchen paper and keep hot in the oven while you batter and deep-fry the next batch.

7. Season the fritto misto with salt and pepper and serve with chopped chilli, mint and red wine vinegar sauce.