I ate this dish many Springs ago in Provence and fell in love. Now, I try to make it as often as possible while all the ingredients are at their young best. This dish can easily stand alone for lunch or supper with a side of boiled new potatoes. (For a vegan dish, omit the bacon.)
Although Romaine is not the "key" ingredient in this ragout, it is essential to the dish's success. —ChefJune
fresh peas, shelled (or one 10-ounce package frozen baby peas) – but NOT sugar snap peas or snow peas
(purple-tinged) baby artichokes, as tight and firm as possible
Extra-virgin olive oil
8 or 10
pearl onions or cipolline
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
head Romaine lettuce
fresh flat-leaf parsley
pancetta or top quality bacon
In This Recipe
Shell the peas. (You can do this a day or two ahead and keep them refrigerated in a tightly closed container)
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Choose the smallest, freshest artichokes you can find. Trim them and put them into a 1 1/2-quart casserole with about 2 tablespoons olive oil, the onions, salt and pepper.
Cover and cook in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Add the peas, lettuce, parsley, water and the pancetta cut into small pieces. Cover and continue the cooking in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender.
Serve hot, directly from the casserole.
Note: In the very early spring, it may be possible to get the very tiny baby artichokes. If you can get these, you will want at least 5 per person, since they are bite-sized.
Frozen artichoke hearts have also been substituted with success.