Artichokes! Either you love them or hate them. I get it. Even if their flavor isn’t appealing to you and they seem quite intimidating and exotic ingredient, give them a chance and make this Greek artichoke stew. A very light and lemony dish with succulent, creamy sauce, topped with dill and served with crispy, homemade bread, olives, and feta cheese. Why not? It is the Mediterranean way: seasonal, healthy and delicious food.
On the other hand, you may be an artichoke lover and, if this is the case, you are going to love every single bite of this dish. Highly recommended.
Furthermore, for those you like food history, this dish is relatively new dating from 1960, when Nikolaos Tselementes added carrots and potatoes to a Turkish artichoke recipe and named it “Aginares a la polita”. This is how this fabulous recipe was born. *
No matter the name and the origin, this is a fragrant, lemony artichoke stew served as a main course or as a delicious side dish. It is an homage to one of the most amazing vegetables on the planet. I know it could be hard to find fresh artichokes for some of you living far from the Mediterranean area. You have two options here: either purchase them in Middle Eastern grocers or just go to your supermarket. I am sure you will easily find them in the freezer section all year long and they will be already cleaned and ready to use. How awesome is that? Because preparing artichokes isn’t rocket science but it takes some time and skills to do it at first. So, save time and energy and go for the frozen, cleaned artichokes and reduce a significant amount of time.
Like the majority of Greek vegetable stews “aginares a la polita” is an easy dish with tons of healthy ingredients and unique marvelous taste.
Here are some variations, additions, recommendations and cooking tips for this recipe.
- Make it sweeter with leek and add more spring onions. My favorite combination.
- Add flour to bind juices. You don’t need too much because the starch of the potatoes will help along the way. Admittedly, the sauce is thicker and creamier when you use flour.
- The recipe calls for fine quality extra virgin olive oil. Drizzle some more on each plate. Yeap, artichokes and olive oil are the stars of this recipe. Purchase the best quality of these ingredients for the best outcome.
- Lemon juice. A lot. I know it sounds too much but you are going to love it in this dish. Trust me. It beautifully binds everything together.
- Dill. At the end. It will taste fresher, the color will be brighter and the dish so more appetizing.
- You may add frozen or fresh peas as well.
Don’t forget the wine. Serve it a cool glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Heaven.
- 10 fresh or frozen artichoke hearts, cleaned and trimmed
- ⅓ cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 leek, the white part, finely chopped
- 5 spring onions, finely chopped
- 4 carrots, cut in medium slices
- 3 potatoes, cut in medium cubes
- 3 cups (850ml) vegetable broth or hot water*
- 2 lemons, the juice
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (10g) fresh dill, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
- In a large pot, over medium-high heat, add the olive oil until it shimmers.
- IF YOU USE FROZEN ARTICHOKES: add artichokes first and stir for 5 minutes. Add onion, leek and spring onions. Stir well for 3 minutes. Add carrots, potatoes and stir for 5 minutes. Season (salt and pepper) to taste. Stir carefully.
- IF YOU USE FRESH ARTICHOKES: Add onion, leek and spring onions and stir for 2-3 minutes until softened and translucent. Add artichokes, carrots, and potatoes for 5 minutes. Season (salt and pepper) to taste. Stir carefully.
- Veggies are ready. Add the flour and give a final good but gentle stir. Pour carefully lemon juice and hot water or vegetable broth to cover all the ingredients. Season to taste, cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat to a simmer for 40-45 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Turn off the heat and add fresh dill. Stir and let it aside for a few minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
- To serve drizzle olive oil, fresh dill and lemon wedges.