At no other time of year can this dish be replicated successfully++- it epitomizes the tastes of late spring in Provence. Straight from the garden or the open market come either the small, violet artichokes or burgeoning green ones, along with pods of favas barely swollen with soft, tender beans. Winter savory, which grows wild on the hillsides, has just put forth its new spring flush and is full of resinous flavor. Serve with the freshest, crustiest bread possible for sopping up the juices.
Prepare artichokes (see below), then cut small ones in half, larger ones into quarters or sixths; pat dry. Remove the skins from the shelled favas.
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic and artichoke pieces; saute, stirring frequently, for 4 or 5 minutes. Add the fava beans and continue to cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes. The artichokes will begin to change color to a deep olive green, but the favas will stay bright green.
Add the winter savory, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir well, reduce heat to very low, cover, and simmer until the artichokes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Serves 4 to 6.
PER SERVING: 275 calories, 7 g protein, 24 g carbohydrate, 19 g fat (3 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 263 mg sodium, 9 g fiber.
GENERAL PREPARATION OF ARTICHOKES:
Using kitchen shears, cut off the tops (with their sharp spikes) of the side and bottom leaves. Trim the base of the artichoke.
Using a large, sharp chef's knife, cut off the top inch of the artichoke.
Unless you are going to stuff the artichoke, cut it in half lengthwise. With the edge of a small sharp spoon or with a small, sharp knife, scoop out the exposed thistle. If you are going to stuff it, however, do not cut in half; carefully scoop out the center leaves along with the thistle.
Put the fresh-trimmed artichokes in acidulated water until ready to proceed with recipe.
From the San Francisco Chronicle, 4/21/93.
Posted by Stephen Ceideberg; May 11 1993.