Spring Vegetable Stew

With its more delicate flavors, this spring stew eases us away from the root vegetables of fall and winter and toward a summer filled with bold flavors.
Hudson Valley Mediterranean by Laura Pensiero; copyright © HarperCollins

Hudson Valley Mediterranean by Laura Pensiero; copyright (c) HarperCollins

Spring Vegetable Stew

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    2 large lemons, halved 1 cup fresh or frozen peeled fava beans, thawed (see note)
    4 medium artichokes 1 cup shelled peas (fresh or frozen)
    2 tablespoons olive oil cup snipped fresh chives
    2 shallots, thinly sliced cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    9 small red potatoes (1 to 2 inches in diameter), quartered 3 tablespoons finely grated Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese
    cup dry white wine Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    3 cups vegetable or reduced-sodium chicken broth Shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish
    12 fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and sliced on the diagonal into -inch pieces


    Prep: 15 min Total: 30 min (Quick)
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    • 1

      Fill a large bowl with 1 quart of water, and squeeze 2 lemon halves into it. Add the squeezed lemon halves to the water.

    • 2

      Working with 1 artichoke at a time, bend back the outer leaves close to the base until they snap off where they break naturally. Discard the layers until the exposed leaves are pale green at the top and pale yellow at the base.

    • 3

      Using a small sharp knife, trim the stem and the base until it is smooth and no dark green areas remain. Trim the leaves. Rub the base with the remaining lemon halves.

    • 4

      Cut the artichoke lengthwise into 4 wedges. Using a small knife, cut out the choke and the small purple-tipped leaves; then halve again for a total of 8 wedges.

    • 5

      Place the artichoke wedges in the lemon water.

    • 6

      Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

    • 7

      Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.

    • 8

      While the shallots are cooking, drain and rinse the artichokes.

    • 9

      Add the artichokes and the potatoes to the skillet and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

    • 10

      Pour in the wine and simmer until the liquid is reduced to a few spoonfuls, about 6 minutes.

    • 11

      Add the broth and bring to a boil.

    • 12

      Add half of the asparagus, fava beans, and peas, cover the skillet, and simmer the stew for 10 minutes.

    • 13

      Stir in the remaining asparagus, fava beans, and peas, 2 tablespoons of the chives, and 2 tablespoons of the parsley.

    • 14

      Let the mixture simmer, partially covered, for about 4 minutes, or until the potatoes and artichokes are tender.

    • 15

      Stir in the remaining herbs and the grated Grana Padano, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

    • 16

      Serve topped with shaved Parmesan.

    • 17

      Note: High-quality frozen fava beans do not requier any work. Add them to the salad after they have thawed out. If you buy fresh fava beans, cook the shelled beans in boiling salted water for 3 minutes, or until just tender. Drain, and cool in a bowl of ice water. Then, drain and peel off their tough outer skin (it should slip off easily).

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