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Stewed Artichokes with Fresh Fava Beans

stewed artichokes with fresh fava beans

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Artichokes and fresh green fava beans are two of my favorite springtime vegetables, and in this recipe I combine the two for one hell of a side dish.

I go through the basics of how to handle fresh fava beans (you get them in big pods and need to shuck and then blanch them) elsewhere, so you need to start with shelled and blanched favas here. Or you can just use fresh or frozen peas.

Don’t use frozen artichoke hearts here — trim your own. I provide a link to instructions below if you don’t know how. I also recommend using the baby artichokes, which are increasingly available in good supermarkets. Of course if you live in artichoke country, they are everywhere at farmer’s markets.

Serves two as a vegetarian dinner (you’ll need bread to go with it), or up to 6 as a side dish.

  • 15-20 baby artichokes, or 6 large ones
  • 2 cups fresh fava beans, shelled and blanched
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 5 chopped garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 4 lemons
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Grated pecorino cheese (optional)

 

  1. Trim your artichokes. My friend Elise has instructions on how to trim an artichoke online. If you are using large ones, cut them into quarters. Leave the small ones whole, or cut them in half.
  2. After you trim each artichoke, put them in a bowl with the juice of 2 lemons and enough water to cover the artichokes. This keeps them from turning brown.
  3. As you are doing this, slowly fry the onion in the olive oil in a lidded pot. Just let it gently cook, stirring from time to time.
  4. Once the onions are wilted and some are beginning to brown, add the garlic. Turn the heat up to medium. If the garlic begins to brown turn off the heat until you finish cleaning the artichokes.
  5. Once all the ‘chokes are done, pour the chicken broth into the pot and bring to a simmer. Add the juice of the remaining 2 lemons.
  6. Put the artichokes in and cover. Let this cook over gentle heat for 20 minutes, or until the artichokes are tender.
  7. Add the parsley, oregano and fava beans and cook for another 8 minutes.
  8. Serve hot or at room temperature with some crusty bread.

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