Manfredi Kitchen


by Stefano Manfredi

There was a stampede of sorts at my local fruit shop the day small green artichokes appeared on the shelves. At about the size of a medium mandarin, these artichokes are very special. They have an immature choke that is tender and can be eaten along with the heart and a good part of the stem as well.

Small, green artichokes are around until the heat forces the choke to flower. They can be found until late spring. They’re easy to prepare; simply cut the top third of the head clean off, remove the outer leaves by peeling them and cut the stem, leaving a few centimetres attached at the base.

The trimmed artichokes can be sliced thinly and plunged in some water with lemon juice to stop them discolouring. When needed, just pat dry. They are delicious served raw, dressed with vinaigrette and shaved pecorino or parmesan. Alternately the slices can be tossed in a hot pan with olive oil, and garlic and served with spaghetti or linguini. 



  • 8 small artichokes before choke has formed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 400g fresh peas
  • 400g broad beans
  • 2 butter lettuces, outer leaves trimmed
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 50 g di pancetta, cut into small dice
  • 2 or more chillies, chopped
  • Handful parsley, chopped
  • Handful mint, chopped
  • 4 tbsp shaved pecorino (sheep’s milk cheese)
  • Salt and pepper

Trim and cut each artichoke into 6 slices and place in a bowl of cold water with the lemon juice. Shell the peas and broad beans and double peel the latter if they are large. Wash the lettuce and cut into largish pieces. Heat the olive oil in a pot and lightly fry the pancetta and spring onion until they have softened. Add the peas and artichokes (well drained) with a quarter cup of water. Once boiling, add a couple of good pinches of salt and the chilli. Turn down to a simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the chopped lettuce and the broad beans, stir well and simmer for 15 minutes until the lettuce is tender. Check for seasoning, stir in the parsley and mint and, serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, the pecorino shavings and some toasted sourdough bread.

Serves 6.