A stew of artichokes, peas and potatoes in a rich and tangy egg lemon broth
This recipe is pretty intense. Not in preparation; you’ll see that it’s no more difficult than many of the other recipes we’ve posted. No…it’s intense in the feelings and thoughts it elicits. Some good; this dish is delicious and today we love to eat it. But some, less good; when we were kids we thought it looked and tasted like throw up, and cried when it was for dinner.
This recipe brings up more than cravings and nausea however. We realize that this is the first recipe we are sharing which features artichokes, that intimidating vegetable (hmmm….is it actually considered a vegetable?) that seems to be a chore to prepare. We feel kind of bad about that. And we’re surprised that of the more than 250 recipes we’ve posted, that this is the first one featuring artichokes! What other ingredient have we been neglecting?
Our parents cook with artichokes quite a bit, and always have. We have vivid memories of our mother and father sitting at the kitchen table with a pile of fresh artichokes in front of them, snipping off the thorny tips, cleaning away the outer leaves, scooping out the fuzzy center and dropping what remained into a bowl of water and lemon slices. We were fascinated. How could such a large vegetable (actually, the bud of a thistle…like a flower) be whittled away to a small bit of heart and stem. It seemed kind of wasteful.
But is also seemed like a bit of fun. So, although as children we didn’t like eating artichokes, we loved to be involved in their preparation. Our mother would always be the one to slice away the top and then carefully snip off the pointy tips with scissors, fearful that we would prick ourselves. Then, all danger removed, she would pass the artichoke to us and show us how to peel off the outer leaves, one by one. As we got closer to the center and the leaves got more tender she would take a leaf and insert the white fleshy end into her mouth. She would then scrape it off with her lower teeth, and eat it. We found this exotic and so very weird, and couldn’t wait to try it ourselves. We’re not sure we actually enjoyed how this tasted when we were kids, but we certainly liked that our mom was showcasing such odd table manners, and encouraging us to do the same. Artichokes hold a very special place in our hearts.
We think that some cookbooks, and internet sites refer to this kind of recipe as aginares a la polita (or artichokes, city-style). Maybe this is what we’re sharing here, but our parents never referred to this recipe that way. For us, it was always simply aginares me avgolemono (artichokes with egg-lemon sauce), with the inclusion here, of peas.
Despite all the happy reminiscing of preparing fresh artichokes when we were kids, in this recipe we actually used frozen artichoke hearts. They are easily accessible, delicious, and frankly, much quicker to use than fresh artichokes. Frozen artichokes also ensure that you can prepare this dish all year round, when the availability of fresh artichokes may not be present. However, if you are going use fresh artichokes (show offs), after they are down to stem and heart be sure to place them in a bowl of water which has lemon juice or vinegar added to it. Leave them there until you are ready to cook them. If you don’t do this, your artichokes may turn brown.
The avgolemono sauce used in this recipe is quite similar to the one used in our cabbage rolls with egg lemon sauce recipe. It is a delicious sauce, and quite easy to prepare. Simply follow the directions carefully to be sure that you don’t curdle your eggs, and to ensure that your sauce is nice and frothy. So delicious!
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This dish is exceptionally wonderful when served with a nice loaf of fresh bread, perfect for sopping up all the sauce.
Looking for more recipes featuring avgolemono sauce? Look no further than here:
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Artichokes and peas in an egg-lemon sauce (Αγκινάρες με αρακά αυγολέμονο)
- 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion cut into small dice
- 1/3 cup (80 mL) olive oil
- 14 ounces artichoke heart bottoms, frozen approximately 13 of them
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 2 cups (500 mL) water or to cover vegetables in the pot
- 2 medium potatoes cut into quarters
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 2 eggs
- 1 lemon, juiced
- In a medium size pot heat the olive oil and saute the onion until translucent, approximately 3 - 5 minutes.
- To the pot add the artichoke hearts, frozen peas and the potatoes. Cover with the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the chopped mint and parsley as well as the salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 30 - 45 minutes stirring occasionally. Check your potatoes and artichokes and when ready (a knife is easily inserted into the vegetables), remove the pot from the heat.
- Use a ladle to place approximately 1 cup of broth into a small bowl. Set aside.
- Separate the eggs. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the egg yolks and continue to beat. Slowly pour in the lemon juice and then the reserved 1 cup broth while beating continuously. See video here.
- Pour the egg-lemon sauce into the pot with the soup. Shake the pot gently so that the egg-lemon sauce gets evenly dispersed throughout the vegetables.
- Serve and enjoy!