Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Artichoke and Lima Bean Ragout in Lemon-Garlic Sauce

I received lima beans on Saturday from my farmers market pick up. I have had them once in my life and liked them, but it's been years. My Mom never liked lima beans as a child, so I was not exposed to them growing up. They don't have the best reputation as being a well liked legume. I tried them again and don't see what all the fuss is about, I thought they were great! I ate them straight out of the shell, and Owen couldn't get enough of them raw. I wasn't sure what to do with them until I looked them up in the index of my Mother of all vegetarian cookbooks, Passionate Vegetarian, and found several recipes for them. I chose the one that I had all the ingredients for and got to cooking!I had my prep cook/ husband, Adam, shell the lima beans while I diced, minced and chopped the rest of the goods. There is a bit of prep with this recipe, but the flavors are well worth the time it takes to make! It's light, yet filling and the lemon and artichokes gives it a summery feel.

Artichoke and Lima Bean Ragout in Lemon-Garlic Sauce

1 tsp olive oil
1 onion
1 celery rib, minced
1 Tb. finely chopped garlic
3 3/4 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 Tb. tomato paste
8 oz. baby carrots, (or 3 regular carrots scrubbed and cut into 1 in. pieces)
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch dice
salt and pepper to taste
2 lbs. of fresh lima beans shelled, or 1 16 oz frozen package
2 lemons
1 tsp. butter
1 Tb. unbleached flour
2 10 oz packages of frozen artichoke hearts quartered
1/2 cup minced Italian parsley

Heat 1/2 tsp. of oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute just until it starts to soften, about 4 minutes. Lower the heat and add the celery and 2 tsp. of the garlic and continue sauteing for another 2 minutes.
Add two cups of vegetable stock along with the wine and tomato paste. Raise the heat to a boil and drop in the carrots and potatoes (I didn't have as many carrots or artichokes as called for, so I added diced zucchini and green beans with the carrots to make up for it). Lower the heat to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, half covered, until the potatoes are almost tender, about 15 minutes. Add the lima beans, stir well, and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Grate the rind of the lemons, then squeeze out their juices discarding the seeds.

Heat the remaining oil along with the butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, then slowly whisk in the remaining 1 3/4 cup stock and 1 tsp. garlic along with the lemon juice and rind. Cook, whisking constantly for 1 minute. Scrape the sauce into the simmering vegetables.

Add the artichoke pieces, stir well and cook until just heated. Add half of the minced parsley.

Serve hot with the remaining parsley and grated Parmesan cheese (optional) sprinkled over the top. Feel free to serve with crusty bread, or on top of pasta, quinoa or rice.

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