Artichoke Hearts and Fava Bean Stew

Last Updated on Monday, 5 December 2011 12:18 Written by Flax Wednesday, 16 February 2011 03:16

Artichokes are not one of the most attractive vegetables.  They are strange-looking, they have thorns, and most of the vegetable is inedible.  I guess their saving grace is that they are absolutely delicious.  While most of us are willing to put up with the thorny exterior in order to access the sweet heart at the center of the artichoke, surprisingly enough, most of the nutrients are located in the thorny leaves.

Artichokes are a member of the thistle family.  Milk thistle is a purple thorny weed that has wonderful healing properties.  Like the thistle, the artichoke is best known for its ability to cleanse the liver and the gall bladder.   The artichoke stimulates bile production, lowers blood pressure, reduces cholesterol, detoxifies and fights free radicals.   Artichokes can be help with any digestive disorder, including Crohn’s disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and Gallstones.

Since the recipe below uses only the heart of the artichoke, and the leaves have the best of the healing properties, I suggest making a tea from the discarded leaves.  Remove a few of the artichoke’s leaves, add them to a pot of boiling water and simmer for 5 minutes.  Drink hot or cold.

Artichokes and fava beans appear in the Israeli market in the winter and spring.  While I always recommend using fresh food for better flavor as well as for better nutrition, shelling the fava beans and removing the artichoke leaves is extremely time consuming .  For those of you who lack time or child labor, be aware that this dish is extremely quick if you chose to use both the frozen fava beans as well as the frozen artichoke hearts.   Additionally, while the recipe below is vegan, this dish goes very nicely with either lamb or beef.  I might add either shoulder of lamb or meatballs to make a scrumptious main course for Shabbat.  To do so, simply add the meat to the pot along with the rest of the ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 1/2 bunch coriander
  • 1 tomato
  • olive oil
  • 6 artichokes
  • 1 cup fava beans
  • 1 tsp pickled lemon
  • 1 cup water
  • turmeric
  • salt and pepper

Remove the leaves and the choke of the artichoke.  Put the artichoke hearts in a bowl of water with lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown.

Using a food processor, puree the onions, garlic, tomato and herbs.  Oil the bottom of a sauce pan with a tight lid.  Put all of the ingredients into the pot and bring to a boil.  Simmer covered for 5 minutes and then remove the cover.   Cook on a low flame for about 45 minutes or until all the water has boiled out.  Stir occasionally during the cooking  to prevent the bottom of the dish from burning.

Serves 4- 6.

Serve hot on a bed of rice.

Enjoy!

Photo credit:  <p><a href=”http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1539″>Image: xedos4 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>


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