Rowley Leigh’s Frittedda

AuthorBen WatsonCategory, , , DifficultyBeginner

Frittedda is a tasty vegetable stew originating in the Sicilian capital, Palermo. Prepared with fresh broad beans, peas and artichokes, it's a primavera classic for the spring in Italy or early summer in the UK and can truly be called "spring on a plate". The vegetables are slowly sautéed, and gently shaken rather than stirred in order to preserve the texture and flavour of each ingredient - the sweetness of the peas, the pleasant bitterness of the artichokes and the nutty flavour of broad beans. These flavours can be rounded with the addition of agrodulce sauce, made with caramelised sugar and vinegar. Back in Palermo, it is often served with panelle, a Sicilian chickpea/gram flour fritters.

Yields1 Serving
 8 baby artichokes
 1 lemon
 50 ml white wine vinegar
 6 very large onions
 100 ml olive oil
 500 g broad beans (in the pod)
 100 ml white wine
 400 g green asparagus
 15 mint leaves
1

Trim the artichokes, cutting them across their basis and halfway up the bulb, then remove the outside leaves with a sharp knife. Rub the bottoms with lemon and toss in a bowl with vinegar. When they are all done, split them in half, checking there is no choke.

Trim the spring onions, cutting them halfway up the stalk and splitting them in half. Put them in a pan with the artichokes and olive oil. Bring them to a simmer while you pod the broad beans, which should be added five minutes later with the white wine. Simmer, covered, for another five minutes.

Peel the bottom half of the asparagus spears and cut them in half. Add these to the stew. Season well with salt and pepper and cook gently for another six to seven minutes, or until the asparagus is tender. Turn out on the serving dish and allow to cool. Season with a pinch of sea salt and some milled black pepper, arrange the mint leaves around and sprinkle with a little more very good olive oil.

Ingredients

 8 baby artichokes
 1 lemon
 50 ml white wine vinegar
 6 very large onions
 100 ml olive oil
 500 g broad beans (in the pod)
 100 ml white wine
 400 g green asparagus
 15 mint leaves

Directions

1

Trim the artichokes, cutting them across their basis and halfway up the bulb, then remove the outside leaves with a sharp knife. Rub the bottoms with lemon and toss in a bowl with vinegar. When they are all done, split them in half, checking there is no choke.

Trim the spring onions, cutting them halfway up the stalk and splitting them in half. Put them in a pan with the artichokes and olive oil. Bring them to a simmer while you pod the broad beans, which should be added five minutes later with the white wine. Simmer, covered, for another five minutes.

Peel the bottom half of the asparagus spears and cut them in half. Add these to the stew. Season well with salt and pepper and cook gently for another six to seven minutes, or until the asparagus is tender. Turn out on the serving dish and allow to cool. Season with a pinch of sea salt and some milled black pepper, arrange the mint leaves around and sprinkle with a little more very good olive oil.

Rowley Leigh’s Frittedda
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