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Artichoke With Fava Beans

Jun 5, 2010

Although it's raining cats and dogs today, summer is officially in town. The heat hampers my ability to crave, cook and eat otherwise appetizing desserts and meals that require hard work. I spend less time in the kitchen, more time outdoors. And I go for light, quick fixes convenient for the summer season. I rend my regular visits to the market place every week and return home with refreshing summer time fruits and always artichokes with fava beans; the easiest and most rewarding combination I fix these days.

I remember the times mom returned from the market place with artichoke buds. She would peel and clean them all by herself, leaving her hands all colored and bruised, the kitchen table with a huge pile of artichoke leaves and left overs. I would look at the revealed insides and think "all this mess is for this little piece of veggie?!" I eventually grew to appreciate artichoke' s unique taste as well as the trouble mom went through.

But today, peeled and cleaned artichokes lying in basins, filled with vinegar and water are handy, thanks to people who clean them for us. Cooking it as often as possible is the least we can do. The way we prepare it in Istanbul is typically Aegean style. I use less lemon than most people, just for rubbing to prevent discoloration. And more sugar to bring out the flavor. (I cook it just like celeriac, minus quince and orange juice.) The trick that makes the difference is caramelizing the onion and the artichokes' surface after the water is absorbed. Lovely.

Oh, before I let her go unnoticed any longer, I hereby present you our cat Bebek (translates "baby" to English, yet far from being one with 15 pounds and 14 years of age), the laziest and "ladyiest" cat of all times...

Artichoke With Fava Beans In Olive Oil


  • 6 artichokes, peeled
  • 200 g fava (broad) beans
  • 1 onion
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • half a lemon
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup of boiled water
  • salt to taste


  1. Blanch beans in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and discard the peels.
  2. Slice onion into 8 pieces and cook in olive oil over medium heat for 1 minute.
  3. Rub artichokes with lemon and lay them upside down over onions. Add 1/2 tablespoon sugar and a sprinkle of salt over each.
  4. Add enough water to cover artichokes halfway, about a cup. Bring to boil than reduce heat to minimum.
  5. Add the fava beans. Cook for about 30 minutes, until a fork pierces artichokes easily. Serve chilled, with fava beans on top.


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