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all the vegetables frying in the pan
  • mains

Fritella of spring vegetables

A perfect spring dish - artichokes, broad beans, asparagus and peas

This wonderful and simple dish I first tried in Modica, Sicily, when I was doing research for my book, 'Spring in Sicily'. Sicily can be arid and dry in summer and cold in winter, but in spring the markets are piled high with masses of fresh greens. This dish is the taste of the new season, an explosion of beautiful vegetable flavours. I love the way Italians tend to slightly under-cook their vegetables which allows each element in the mix to speak for itsel , but still producing a memorable combination .The Sicilians love this dish and I think you will too.

You can serve it as an accompaniment to fish or meat.

Serves 4 people

  • Ingredients
  • 4 young artichokes
  • 400 gr fresh, podded, blanched and peeled broad beans
  • 400 gr fresh podded peas
  • 3-4 bunches of young asparagus, cut into 3 cm pieces
  • 1/2 a fennel thinly sliced
  • 1 -2 young leeks, thinly sliced
  • olive oil and butter for cooking
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilly flakes, salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 bunch of Italian parsley, chopped
  1. prepare the artichokes by peeling off the outer leaves, remove the 'beard, slice into thin wedges

    artichokes going through the cleaning steps
  2. in a large fry pan melt the butter and oil and gently fry the chopped leek until soft, add the chilli

    chopped leek frying in fry pan
  3. add the sliced artichokes

    fry pan with leeks and artichoke slices cooking
  4. now add all the other vegetables and 1/2 cup of water and gently let it cook for about 10 minutes

    all the vegetables in the fry pan
  5. add the parsley and salt and pepper to taste

    the cooked vegetables
  6. the vegetables should still be slightly firm, not much

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