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Vignole
Italian
Side
1 hour
Vegetables/vegetarian
Easy
Serves
4

Russell Norman shares his vignole recipe, a vegetable stew composed of the very freshest spring vegetables, including but not limited to baby artichokes, broad beans, and peas. "My favourite way to start making this spring classic is to put a small table and a chair on the balcony overlooking the washing lines along the street, and sit in the sun to pod all the peas and shell all the broad beans. I always try very hard not to eat all the peas raw, straight from the pod, and will often buy more than I need to compensate for my lack of willpower. If you see baby spring leeks at the greengrocer, buy a couple of those, too, wash and slice them and put them into the pan with the onion.

This is delicious on a hot day served at room temperature, perhaps as an accompaniment to a simply grilled fillet of sea bream."

This recipe was taken from Venice by Russell Norman, published by Fig Tree.

Recipe courtesy of
Ingredients
  • 8 baby artichokes, trimmed of hard outer leaves and woody stalk
  • 1kg fresh baby broad beans in their pods, to yield 250g beans
  • 300g chard, chopped roughly
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large knob of good butter
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 350ml chicken stock
  • 1kg fresh peas in their pods, podded to yield 500g peas
  • 6 thick slices prosciutto, cut into ribbons
  • 1 large handful of mint leaves, picked and washed
  • flaky sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Method
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Method
  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the artichokes. Blanch for 10 minutes until just tender – you can test this by pushing a knife into the heart so that it offers little resistance – and drain. When they have cooled, peel off and discard any hard outer leaves that remain. Trim and peel the stem if still woody, until you reach the tender flesh. Cut each artichoke into quarters and set aside.
  2. In a fresh pan of salted boiling water, blanch the broad beans for 2 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon. Now add the chard for a minute or two until it starts to wilt. Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the butter in a very large saucepan. Soften the onion for 10 minutes, then add the stock and the peas. Bring to the boil very briefly, then add the prosciutto and reduce to a simmer. Let it all bubble gently for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the chard, artichokes and broad beans and simmer again for 8 to 10 minutes. Roughly chop the mint and stir in with a good pinch of salt and a twist of pepper.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, then add a good glug of olive oil, stir a few times and serve on warmed plates with a hunk of crusty bread.

The Pass was created to help the many people now struggling to feed themselves and their families as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. If you like or use this recipe, please consider making a small donation to Hospitality Action to help those whose livelihoods have all but disappeared.

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