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On Wednesday I went to Ventimiglia market with my friend Patty and bought several unusual Italian vegetables, an opportunity to prepare some unique Springs starters.
On the video, I show what we found at the market, and below you will find all the recipes:
When the first fave beans and fresh peas appear on the market stand, my heart fills with joy just thinking about Spring Minestra.
More than a recipe, this Spring starter is a ceremony to celebrate Spring.
The fresh vegetables are piled in layers and covered with lettuce leaves to preserve the green colour of the produces.
It can be eaten warm or at room temperature, a perfect Spring starter for the unpredictable weather during this time of the year.
They look like chive but they are bitter and chunkier. Here is how to cook them.
- Remove the roots and boil them for 3 minutes in salted water.
- Drain and season with extra virgin olive oil and salt.
Puntarelle are chicory shoots, in Rome, they are cut very thin and seasoned with anchovies and garlic. If they are long, they will curl once cut.
It is an uncommon vegetable and makes a perfect unusual Spring starter your guests will love. If you cannot find Puntarelle you can use endives for a similar result.
Zucchini Trombetta di Albenga
Such unusual shape, those zucchinis are crunchy and have a nutty flavour.
As a Spring starter, I like to make Zucchini Pasta with Ricotta.
There are many Spring starters recipes I make with these zucchinis, but regular zucchinis will do as well.
When you buy regular zucchini always buy the thinnest ones.
They will be less watery and have fewer seeds.
Italian Broad Beans Recipe
- 1 cup fresh peas
- 1 cup fava beans, broad beans
- 5 small artichokes
- 1 small lettuce head
- 3 slices of bacon optional
- 1 onion
- olive oil
- 2 cup fresh water
- 1 tsp salt
- Prepare all the vegetables
- Put aside 4 lettuce leaves and cut the lettuce into slices
- Clean the peas
- Clean the fave beans
- Clean and cut the artichokes into slices
- In a casserole stir fry1 onion and the bacon
- Cover with a layer of lettuce and season
- Add a layer of fave beans and season
- Add a layer of peas and season
- Add a layer of artichokes, season and add 2 cups of water
- Lay on top the 4 lettuce leaves, they will keep the colour of the vegetables green
- Cover with a lid and simmer for 40 minutes
- When ready, remove the top lettuce leaves
- When you buy broad beans, make sure the pod is green and firm.
- Remove them from the pod, remove the outgrowth that connects the bean to the pod and the skin.
- If you want to can leave the skin, but it can be bitter.
- It is important for this recipe that all vegetables are fresh if you don't want to spend too much time cleaning them, you can find some farm stands that clean them right there at the market.