Fresh and Flavorful Artichokes with Fava Beans Recipe from Italy

Artichokes topped with Fresh Fava Beans

Fresh and Flavorful Artichokes with Fava Beans Recipe from Italy
Region / culture: Italy | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4 | Vegetarian diet


Artichokes topped with Fresh Fava Beans
Artichokes topped with Fresh Fava Beans

Artichokes topped with Fresh Fava Beans is a delightful and nutritious dish that combines the earthy flavors of artichokes with the sweet, buttery taste of fresh fava beans. This recipe is a celebration of spring, when both artichokes and fava beans are at their peak. It's a perfect dish for those who appreciate the art of cooking with seasonal ingredients. The combination of herbs and the tanginess of lemon juice bring out the best in these vegetables, making it a must-try for anyone looking to explore the richness of plant-based cuisine.


The tradition of pairing artichokes with fava beans has roots in Mediterranean cuisine, particularly in countries like Italy and Greece, where both vegetables are staples during the spring season. This recipe, with its use of fresh herbs and olive oil, reflects the Mediterranean diet's emphasis on fresh, seasonal produce and healthy fats. Historically, dishes like this were created to make the most of the seasonal bounty, ensuring that nothing went to waste. Over time, it has evolved into a beloved springtime dish, appreciated for its flavors as well as its nutritional benefits.


How to prepare

  1. Heat oil in a wide pot.
  2. Add onion and green onion and cook until softened.
  3. Stir in fava beans, mint, and half of the dill for 4 minutes.
  4. Pour in lemon juice, sugar, and hot water.
  5. Arrange artichokes in the pot with the pointy sides facing up.
  6. Cover the pot with aluminum foil and place the lid on.
  7. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and sprinkle with salt.
  9. Allow artichokes to cool in the pot.
  10. Transfer artichokes to a serving plate and stuff them with fava beans using a spoon.
  11. Sprinkle the remaining dill on top.


  • Add a sprinkle of grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese for a richer flavor.
  • For a spicy kick, include a pinch of red pepper flakes when cooking the onions.
  • Incorporate other spring vegetables like peas or asparagus for added color and nutrition.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best results when preparing Artichokes topped with Fresh Fava Beans, consider the following tips:

- Choose artichokes that feel heavy for their size and have tightly packed leaves, as these are fresher.

- Fresh fava beans should be bright green and firm. Avoid any that are yellowing or have spots.

- To prevent the artichokes from browning, place them in water with lemon juice immediately after cutting.

- When cooking the fava beans, make sure not to overcook them to maintain their vibrant color and texture.

- Use a high-quality olive oil for a richer flavor.

Serving Suggestions

This dish can be served as a light main course or as a side dish. It pairs beautifully with grilled fish or chicken for a more substantial meal. For a completely plant-based option, serve alongside quinoa or a fresh salad.

Cooking Techniques

The key to this recipe is gentle cooking to preserve the delicate flavors and textures of the artichokes and fava beans. Simmering under a covered pot allows the vegetables to steam perfectly, ensuring they are tender and flavorful.

Ingredient Substitutions

If fresh fava beans are not available, frozen can be used as a substitute. Thaw before using.

- In the absence of fresh artichokes, canned or frozen artichoke hearts can be used, though the flavor and texture will differ.

- Lemon juice can be replaced with white wine vinegar for a different acidic note.

Make Ahead Tips

The artichokes and fava beans can be prepared a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Reheat gently before serving to maintain the best texture and flavor.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the artichokes on a platter, topped with the fava bean mixture and a drizzle of olive oil. Garnish with additional fresh herbs for a touch of color and freshness.

Pairing Recommendations

This dish pairs wonderfully with a crisp, dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. The acidity of the wine complements the flavors of the artichokes and fava beans beautifully.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave, adding a little water if necessary to prevent drying out.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Artichokes topped with Fresh Fava Beans contains approximately 200-250 calories, making it a low-calorie option that's full of flavor and nutrients. This makes it an excellent choice for those looking to enjoy a satisfying meal without consuming too many calories.


This dish is relatively low in carbohydrates, making it a suitable option for those monitoring their carb intake. Artichokes are an excellent source of fiber, while fava beans provide a good balance of complex carbohydrates and fiber, which can help in maintaining stable blood sugar levels.


The primary source of fat in this recipe comes from olive oil, which is rich in monounsaturated fats. These are known to be heart-healthy fats that can help in lowering bad cholesterol levels. The overall fat content is moderate, making this dish a healthy choice for those looking to maintain a balanced diet.


Fava beans are a good source of plant-based protein, making this dish a great option for vegetarians and vegans. While the protein content may not be as high as in meat-based dishes, it's still sufficient to contribute to a balanced diet, especially when combined with other protein sources throughout the day.

Vitamins and minerals

This recipe is packed with vitamins and minerals. Artichokes are rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and minerals like magnesium and potassium. Fava beans add to the nutritional profile by providing additional potassium, iron, and magnesium, as well as B vitamins.


This recipe is naturally free from most common allergens, including gluten, dairy, nuts, and soy. However, those with specific food sensitivities should always check individual ingredients for potential allergens.


Overall, Artichokes topped with Fresh Fava Beans is a nutritious dish that offers a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. It's rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making it an excellent addition to a healthy diet.


Artichokes topped with Fresh Fava Beans is a celebration of spring's bounty, offering a delicious and nutritious option for any meal. With its rich flavors, health benefits, and versatility, it's a dish that can be enjoyed in many ways, making it a valuable addition to your culinary repertoire.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was filled with a sense of wonder. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my dear friend Maria in her garden. Maria was known for her delicious home-cooked meals, and that day she was preparing a dish that caught my eye: artichokes topped with fresh fava beans.

I watched as Maria carefully cleaned and trimmed the artichokes, a skill she had learned from her own grandmother many years ago. She explained to me that the key to this dish was to use only the freshest ingredients - the artichokes had to be firm and green, and the fava beans had to be young and tender.

As we worked together in the kitchen, Maria shared the story of how she had learned to make this dish. She told me that when she was a young girl, her grandmother would take her to the local market every Saturday morning. They would wander through the stalls, picking out the best produce and chatting with the vendors.

One day, they came across a farmer selling the most beautiful artichokes and fava beans Maria had ever seen. Her grandmother struck up a conversation with the farmer, who was happy to share his recipe for artichokes topped with fresh fava beans.

Maria's grandmother listened intently as the farmer described how to prepare the dish. She learned that the artichokes needed to be boiled first, then stuffed with a mixture of fava beans, garlic, parsley, and breadcrumbs. The artichokes were then baked until tender, and served with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.

Maria's grandmother made the dish for her family that night, and it quickly became a favorite. She passed the recipe down to Maria, who had been making it ever since.

As Maria and I finished preparing the artichokes topped with fresh fava beans, I couldn't wait to taste the dish. The aroma of garlic and parsley filled the kitchen, and my mouth watered in anticipation.

When we finally sat down to eat, the flavors were even better than I had imagined. The artichokes were tender and flavorful, and the fava beans added a delicious crunch. Maria's recipe was truly a masterpiece.

From that day on, artichokes topped with fresh fava beans became a staple in my own kitchen. I made the dish for my family and friends, sharing the recipe with anyone who asked.

Over the years, I have added my own twist to the recipe, experimenting with different herbs and spices to create new variations. But no matter how many times I make it, the dish always brings back memories of that warm summer day in Maria's garden, and the sense of wonder I felt when I first saw the recipe.

I am grateful to Maria for sharing her family recipe with me, and to the farmer at the market for passing it down to her. Cooking is a way to connect with our past, and every time I make artichokes topped with fresh fava beans, I am reminded of the love and tradition that goes into every dish.

So next time you're in the mood for a delicious and unique meal, why not give artichokes topped with fresh fava beans a try? I promise you won't be disappointed. Enjoy!


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