Fava beans are wonderful. They require you to shell them twice— once to remove them from the pod and once to remove the tough shell. To facilitate the second shelling, blanch them in boiling water, and then shock them in iced water.
- 6 medium artichokes (about 4 ounces each)
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped trimmed scallions (white and tender green parts)
- 2 ½ pounds fresh fava beans in the pod, shelled, (about 1 pound) blanched and peeled
- ½ cup chopped celery
- ½ teaspoon peperoncino (crushed red pepper)
Prepare the artichokes for cooking according to the directions that follow. Slice the artichoke halves into 1/4-inch wedges.
In a large, heavy casserole with a tight fitting lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until wilted, about 4 minutes. Drain the artichokes well and add them, along with the scallions, peeled fava beans, celery and peperoncino to the casserole.
Stir the vegetables well and season them lightly with salt. Adjust the level of heat to low, cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, about 45 minutes. (The vegetables should give off enough moisture during cooking to prevent sticking or burning. If you find the vegetables are sticking, you may add a few tablespoons of water. Make sure the heat is very low and the pot is tightly covered before continuing to cook the vegetables. It is fine, however, if the vegetables do brown a little.) Season to taste with salt and serve hot.