Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mediterranean Artichoke and Fresh Fava Stew


Favas, artichokes, spring onions and green garlic are all fleetingly in season at the same time. Here’s a way to use them all together. This dish is based on a Greek olive oil recipe, meaning that the vegetables are traditionally stewed in two or three times as much oil as I use here. I substitute water for some of the oil.

12 baby artichokes, trimmed

2 lemons

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 bunch of spring onions, chopped

3 large garlic cloves, minced, or 1 bulb of green garlic, skinned and minced

3 pounds fresh fava beans, shelled and skinned

1/4 cup chopped fresh fennel or dill

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Trim the artichokes, cut in half and immediately submerge in a bowl of water acidulated with the juice of 1/2 lemon.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy casserole or Dutch oven. Add the onion, and cook, stirring, until tender, about three minutes. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, for a minute until fragrant. Drain the artichokes, and add the skinned fava beans, the fennel or dill, and the juice of 1 lemon (3 tablespoons) and the remaining olive oil. Add enough water to just cover everything, and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer 20 to 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the broth fragrant.

3. Turn the heat to high, and reduce the liquid in the pan by about a third. Stir in a generous amount of freshly ground pepper. Taste and adjust salt. Serve warm.

Yield: Serves six.

Advance preparation: You can prepare this a day or two ahead of serving, and reheat on top of the stove. Leftovers will be good for four to five days. The color of the favas will fade, but the flavors won’t.

Nutritional information per serving: 316 calories; 2 grams saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 7 grams monounsaturated fats; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 43 grams carbohydrates; 18 grams dietary fiber; 239 grams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 17 grams protein

By: Martha Rose Shulman author of "The Very Best of Recipes for Health."

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