Serves 4 as a side dish
6 small artichokes
1kg fresh broad beans in pods
500g fresh peas in pods
1 bulb of fennel
2 small onions, thinly sliced
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt, pepper and sugar, to taste
1 Shell the broad beans, blanch, then pop them out of their skins. Shell the peas.
2 Squeeze the lemon into a bowl and add enough cold water so it’ll cover the artichokes once you’ve prepared them. Cut off the pointed ends and peel away the outer, tough leaves. With a sharp knife, remove the tough outer part of the stalks, then slice in half lengthways, and scoop out any choke from the centre. Cut each half again lengthways, so they are now quartered, and drop into the lemon water. This will stop them going brown.
3 Chop the fennel bulb into cubes, and keep any fronds on the bulb to one side.
4 Heat a good slug of olive oil, add the onions and a pinch of salt, and gently cook on a low heat until soft but not coloured. (The salt helps to prevent the onions from browning.)
5 Once the onions are soft, add the artichokes and fennel. Add a spoonful or two of water, cover with a lid, then cook gently for about 15 minutes.
6 Add the beans, peas and fennel fronds, season to taste with salt and pepper, and add a pinch of sugar. Stir to combine, add a little more water if it has become dry, then put the lid back on and cook for a further 5 minutes or so, until all the vegetables are soft.
7 Serve with the grilled or roasted meat of your choice.
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