Spring is the season in which the vegetable garden and orchard are at their best, and offer many delicacies to enrich our table. The tastiest colors and flavors of fruit and vegetables can be combined to prepare simple but delicious dishes. Those with a sweet tooth can once again enjoy not only courgette flowers , but also asparagus , courgettes , artichokes and many types of salads and legumes .
This abundance translates into plenty of options to liven up your cooking and add a hint of seasonality to your dishes. And if you are looking for a recipe that takes full advantage of the flavors of this time of year, we have the right suggestion for you.
Vignarola, spring on the table
Vignarola , or Roman-style vignarola, is a typical dish of Lazio peasant cuisine, prepared almost entirely with spring vegetables: peas , broad beans , artichokes , spring onions and romaine lettuce . Even if you don't live near the capital, therefore, you will have no problem obtaining the necessary ingredients without having to have the vegetables sent to your home!
Its origin has roots in popular tradition, which gives various explanations for its name. It could derive from the vegetable gardens among the vineyards in which the vegetables that compose it grew, or from the fact that it was usually eaten by the farmers busy working in those very vineyards, or from being a typical dish of the vignaroli , the fruit and vegetable sellers of the Roman markets.
What is certain is that vignarola is tasty and versatile , excellent as a side dish, as a condiment for first courses or even on its own, perhaps accompanied by a slice of toasted bread.
There are many variations, and the most common involves adding bacon , but you can also eliminate it to obtain an excellent vegan dish .
How to prepare vignarola
To prepare the vignarola for four people you will need 500 g of shelled peas and the same amount of fresh broad beans and artichokes , a spring onion , a head of romaine lettuce , 20 g of extra virgin olive oil , 50 g of bacon and the juice of 1 lemon .
First shell the broad beans and peas, leaving half the pods aside after washing them. Then clean the artichokes, removing the external leaves and tips, cut them into wedges and immerse them in water together with the lemon juice (to prevent them from blackening). Add the artichoke scraps to the others.
Also rinse the lettuce and spring onions , then cut them into strips and rounds respectively, keeping the scraps in this case too.
Use all the leftovers set aside to prepare a broth: pour them into boiling water, add salt and leave to cook for about half an hour, then drain the vegetables.
Pour the oil into a pan , heat over medium heat and add the diced bacon. When it has become transparent, add the spring onion and cook it until it turns golden.
Then add the artichoke segments, after having squeezed them carefully. As soon as they have started to brown, pour a ladle of warm broth into the pan and, if you want to speed up cooking times, cover with a lid and leave to cook for 5 minutes. Then proceed to add the broad beans and peas, together with more broth, and after about ten minutes also the lettuce.
When the vegetables are well cooked, taste them and add salt to your taste.
Tips and variations
To make the vignarola more fragrant, once cooked you could break a few leaves of mint on it, or flavor it with pepper or flakes of pecorino romano . Some recipes use white wine to deglaze the vegetables instead of vegetable broth.
And if you want a further touch of spring on your plate, know that there are areas where vignarola cannot be conceived without asparagus. Try adding them too!
Do you need the ingredients for your traditional or personalized vignarola? Served on our store , your home fruit and vegetable shop!