This is a real spring/summer dish, when the fresh artichokes and lima beans are in the market. If you don’t like lima beans, you can use fresh green peas. Small new potatoes and carrots all help to make this dish memorable. If you are watching your calorie intake, the artichokes are perfect because they have very few calories, and are rich in dietary fiber. They help reduce cholesterol and are rich in folic acid, and vitamins of the B group. They also contain vitamin C and vitamin K and are a very good source of anti-oxidants as well as minerals such as copper, calcium, iron etc. Artichokes are a wonder food and I sincerely hope you like them!Ingredients 3 artichokes cleaned and cut in half. 500 gr. lima beans 3 spring onions 3 medium potatoes 2 carrots 2 tablespoonfuls dill finely chopped ½ – 3/4 cup olive oil 1 – 2 lemons Juice of 1 – 2 lemons Salt, pepper
First prepare the artichokes. Put water in a bowl and cut a lemon in half. If you wish to use more artichokes, you will need more lemons.
Start by removing the outer leaves of the artichokes by pulling one by one, until you reach the more tender inner leaves. Cut off the stem, at the base of the artichoke. Cut the artichoke in half and cut off the hard tips of the leaves of the artichokes, about 1 finger, leaving the tender part. With the knife or a spoon remove the ‘hair’ or ‘choke’ that is found at the base of the heart of the artichoke. If the artichokes chokes are young, there will be hardly any hair. But if they are larger and more mature, the hair must be carefully removed, because it is hard and may stick in your throat (hence the name choke.) After trimming each half, rub it with the one half of the lemon, to prevent the choke from turning blackish. Leave all the artichokes in the lemon water until you finish trimming all the vegetables. If you trim a lot of artichokes, you should wear gloves, because your fingers will become black.
If the lima beans are young you trim them as you trim green beans – top and tail and pull out the strings from the sides if there are any. I prefer the large lima beans that you can take out of the pod and throw the pod away. As you trim the beans, you can put them in the bowl with the artichokes. Wash well the carrots, and slice them. Peel and wash the potatoes and halve them. If they are bigger you can quarter them. Trim the green onions, removing any yellow leaves and cutting off the root part, wash them and slice them.
Put the oil in a pot, add the green onions and sauté them lightly, until they are translucent. Add all the vegetables and sauté them for a few minutes. Add a cup of water, salt, pepper and the lemon juice cover the pot and simmer for about 30 minutes. Prick them lightly with the tip of a knife to see if they are done. Five minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the dill. Don’t stir because you may mash the artichokes. Just shake the pot gently.Taste and adjust the seasonings and add more lemon if you like.
Note: You could use frozen artichokes to avoid all the trimming. However, frozen artichokes, cannot hold a candle to the fresh ones. They are almost tasteless and quite hard. I adore artichokes and that’s why every year, when they are in season, I buy quite a lot, trim them, blanch them and freeze them.
This is a dish that can be enjoyed by vegetarians as well.