Baby Artichokes and Peas

Baby Artichokes and Peas

Artichokes and peas are wonderfully complementary vegetables, and the vermouth in this Italian dish adds a perfect dry and slightly spicy finish to their flavours. I cooked this Carciofi con Piselli the other night and they didn't last long at all!

I've adapted this recipe from one in Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian, but instead of using the hearts from large globe artichokes as she suggests, I've used baby artichokes for the added texture and variety of the edible chokes, or petals, of the smaller plant. Baby artichokes are actually not immature artichokes, but fully grown artichokes that remain small because they grow closer to the ground and under the shade of the plant's large leaves. They still require plenty of trimming, but because they have developed no fuzz or fibrous leaves in the center of the chokes, much of the soft and barely developed petals can be eaten along with the hearts. I've included instructions on the trimming, but if you prefer a visual demonstration, see these Ocean Mist instructions.

Do use fresh garden peas if available, but frozen peas can be substituted.

Baby Artichokes and PeasBaby Artichokes and Peas
Recipe by
Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian: More Than 650 Meatless Recipes from Around the World
Cuisine: Italian
Published on May 6, 2007

Baby artichokes and fresh garden peas simmered in a dry seasoned broth

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  • juice from 2 lemons
  • large bowl of cold water
  • 12 baby artichokes
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • pinch of celery seed
  • 3 tablespoons dry vermouth
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • Put the juice of one lemon into a large bowl of cold water.

  • Rinse the artichokes and cut the stems to about 1/4-inch from the base. Peel off the petals until two thirds of the artichokes show yellow. Pare off the green top and any remaining green around the base. Immediately put the artichoke into the bowl of water and lemon to prevent it from becoming discoloured, and continue preparing the rest of the artichokes the same way.

  • When the artichokes have all been pared, retrieve them one at a time from the water and slice crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Return immediately to the water.

  • Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add the peas. Cook for just a couple of minutes until the peas are just tender but still undercooked. Drain and set aside.

  • Just before cooking the artichokes, dry off the artichoke slices between paper towel.

  • Heat the oil in a heavy non-metal saucepan over medium-high heat. When very hot, add the garlic and artichoke slices and fry, stirring gently, for 5 minutes or until the garlic and artichokes are golden brown. Sprinkle in the celery seed and a little of the salt, and add the 1/2 cup of water and vermouth. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat down to low and let the vegetables simmer for 5 minutes.

  • Uncover, add the peas, parsley, the juice of the other lemon, the rest of the salt, and black pepper to taste. Turn up the heat to medium and bring to a simmer again, without returning the cover. Turn the heat back down to low and simmer, stirring gently, for 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and serve hot.

Makes 4 to 6 side servings
Baby Artichokes and Peas

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