In My Kitchen/ Nicholas Tanis
Springtime brings a wonderful new variety of fresh produce heralding the season ~ the colors and the textures are a plus to both the eye and the palette.
My grandmother traditionally kept pace with the calendar, in shopping the market early in the morning, selecting the vegetables that she intended to prepare into that day’s meal. One of her favorites for spring were the small tender artichokes, that unlike their larger counterparts are much easier to prepare and cook, as well as eat. The potpourri of this vegetable mix is deliciously fragrant, as the garlic and dill permeates the kitchen air. The sauce itself is rich in flavor, that a crust of bread is wanting to be sopped. This “stew” can be served as is, making it a wholesome and hearty vegetarian entrée, or it may be served as a side dish accompanying broiled lamb chops and a fluffy white rice pilaf. Sprinkling crumbled feta cheese over it, adds an extra zing of flavor! A glass of red wine is highly recommended as well.
2 lbs small red new potatoes
3 medium yellow onions
3 Roma plum tomatoes
6-7 cloves garlic
(2) 15.5 oz cans of fava beans (pre-cooked), rinsed
(1) 8oz can tomato sauce
1 quart water
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine
7 sprigs fresh dill
Course Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper to taste
Wash artichokes under cold running water.
Cut off the stems to the base of each artichoke.
Quarter the artichokes and place in large stock pot filled with 1 quart cold water and the juice of one whole lemon.
Cover pot and bring to a quick rapid boil under high heat. Allow to boil for 5-8 minutes and then reduce to low heat.
Wash all potatoes under cold running water. Do not peel. Quarter all potatoes and add to pot, atop of artichokes. Continue cooking under low heat.
Peel and coarsely chop 6-7 garlic gloves.
Peel and cut in half, length-wise 3 medium onions. Once halved, cut evenly creating demi-lune slices. Add the garlic and the onions to the pot, and continue to cook under low heat.
To the vegetable mixture, add one small can (8oz) tomato sauce, and ¼ cup olive oil into the pot and continue cooking under low heat.
Check water level and add more water as need be, by 1 cup.
Using a large wooden spoon lift the vegetable mix from the bottom up, continuing so, around the entire circumference of the pot. In this way you do not shred the quartered artichokes or mash the potatoes.
After 30 minutes slow cooking over low heat, add the butter beans together with the coarsely chopped plum tomatoes.
Again, stir gently with wooden spoon.
Add ¼ cup red wine.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cook for and additional 10 minutes, then shut off heat, and let stand for 20-30 minutes before serving.
Artichokes with Fava Beans