Mediterranean Spring Vegetable Stew

From the story Farmers’ Markets in Full Spring Swing

By Barbara Kobsar

Photo by Cheryl Angelina Koehler

This classic recipe comes to Edible East Bay from Sandy Sonnenfelt, Prepared Foods Manager at Market Hall in Oakland. Serve it as a side dish or as a light meal accompanied by a loaf of crusty bread. To make a more substantial dish, toss the stew with pasta and crumbled chèvre.

  • 25 baby artichokes
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 pounds fresh fava beans, shelled and hulled
  • 1½ pounds English peas, shelled
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½–2 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water

Add lemon juice to a bowl of cold water. Break off the outer leaves of the artichokes, until the pale green inner leaves are reached. Cut off the pointy leaf tips and remove any discolored parts from the base of the artichoke. Cut into 4 and immediately place in the lemon water. This helps prevent browning.

Heat olive oil over moderately low heat, add the onion, garlic and chili flakes and sauté until onion is soft and translucent. Drain artichokes and add them to the onion mixture. Add 1 cup liquid (stock or water) and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add fava beans and peas. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add another cup of liquid.

Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 12–15 minutes. Stir in thyme, check seasoning and cook, uncovered for another few minutes.