This Italian stew is full of the joys of spring. The taste is most intense with fresh broad beans and peas, but frozen ones can be substituted. For the best aesthetic results, blanch the broad beans for one minute, then peel them to reveal their shiny green insides before adding them to the frying pan with the peas and the lemon zest.
Serves 4 – 5 (The Grain-free Vegetarian p. 66)
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
6 baby artichokes, 100g each (before trimming)
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 shallots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
100g tomatoes, chopped
300g podded broad beans
300g shelled peas
Up to 75ml stock, made with ¼ teaspoon Marigold bouillon powder
Up to 75ml white wine
Salt and pepper
Handful of mint leaves
Handful of basil leaves
Set aside 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and put the remaining juice into a bowl of water, ready for the sliced artichokes.
Preparing 1 artichoke at the time, pull off the tough outer leaves to reveal the younger pale leaves underneath. Chop off the spiky artichoke top and, using a potato peeler, pare the fibrous skin off the stem. Trim the stem to neaten. Slice the artichoke and immediately submerge in the bowl of lemon juice and water.
In either a large frying pan (which has a lid) or a saucepan, heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil over a low heat and gently sauté the shallots until they are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Then add the garlic slices and cook them until they start to colour, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry them with all the other ingredients until the tomatoes soften, about 5 minutes. Finally, add the broad beans, peas and lemon zest. Just cover the vegetables with the stock and white wine. Cover the pan and simmer over a low heat until the vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. When the vegetables are soft, season and sprinkle with the reserved lemon juice to taste. Add the mint and basil leaves. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil to serve.