First of all, let me acknowledge that I was unable to make this recipe the exact way that it was supposed to be made. This recipe specifically calls for it to be made early in spring, when the vegetables are all very tender and fresh. I have been making my recipes for my posts on the week that they are posted, so I am now here in the middle of winter with a slew of vegetable postings ahead that will suffer for having to use less than perfect produce. I can’t change that now, but I will do my best to give my interpretation of how I think this has affected the quality of each dish that I post.
I have to say that this recipe, even using frozen peas, canned fava beans and canned artichokes was amazing. It starts with thinly sliced sweet onion. I used Maui onions. These are sautéed in olive oil until they are translucent. Then the chopped tops of the fennel plants were added along with the artichokes. This is cooked until the artichokes are tender. Obviously, the artichokes that I started with were tender to begin with so I cooked the mixture for about 5 minutes. Then I added the fava beans and the peas and cooked this all for about 5 more minutes. This is then salted to taste and since I hadn’t had to use any lemon on the artichokes to begin with I added a squeeze into the final dish.
I thought that I would like this dish, because I love fennel and artichokes. This turned out to be correct. I can understand how this would be even better using fresh vegetables, but even made in this manner this dish captured the essence of springtime. The combination of flavors just popped. For me personally, this was a great recipe to try on the day after Christmas, because Christmas for us is filled with rich entrees and delicious desserts. It was wonderful to have this recipe today to counteract all of the heaviness of the dishes over the last few days. I will be making this again in the springtime so I can get the full effect but even made this way, this recipe will definitely be added to my list of favorites.