An Italian Celebration of Baby Spring Vegetables

Spring may be dragging its heels here in the UK but in the Veneto, it’s in full swing. This roast vegetable salad recipe is a celebration of baby Spring vegetables in all their glory for when the great British weather finally obliges…

Salad of Roast Spring Vegetables with Olive Oil, Lemon, Chilli & Garlic

  • A selection of spring vegetables from New Potatoes, Baby Carrots, Baby Turnips, Asparagus, Baby Artichokes, Peas, Broad Beans. (No Beetroot).
  • 1 fresh large red chilli or 4 small dried
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 2 lemons (if possible with leaves)
  • 300ml Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Prepare all the vegetables, trim, wash and peel as appropriate. Prepare the artichokes as below. Cut the potatoes into 4.
  2. Put a large blanching pot on to boil with lightly salted water. Blanch all the vegetables until al dente and refresh in cold water. Drain and reserve. This can be done in the morning for the evening.
  3. Preheat the oven to maximum. Mince the chilli, garlic and lemon leaves. Lightly oil your large roasting/serving dish. In a mixing bowl add 150ml of the oil and copious salt. Mix the minced chilli, garlic, lemon leaves and lemon juice and toss the vegetables thoroughly in it and spread into the roasting dish. Cook until lightly brown and very hot – approximately 30 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool and serve with separate olive oil and lemon wedges.

Preparation of Artichokes

  • Artichokes,
  • 1 lemon, 1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk
  • 2 bay leaves, 12 mint leaves, Rosemary
  • Salt & pepper
  1. To prepare baby artichokes, first pull off and discard the outer leaves to reveal the pale inner leaves. Cut off the top half of the globe and all but about 2cm of the stalk, peeling what is left. To prevent discolouration, put them into a bowl of water acidulated with lemon juice or vinegar until ready to cook.
  2. In a stainless steel saucepan, put a glass of dry white wine with 1 quartered lemon, 1 diced onion, 1 diced carrot and 1 diced celery stalk. Add two bay leaves, 12 mint leaves a sprig of rosemary and salt & pepper. Add the trimmed artichokes and barely cover with cold water, then film the surface with olive oil.
  3. Put a suitably sized plate on top to push the artichokes to cool in the liquor. When cool, take out the artichokes and use.
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