In Chef Joshua McFadden’s award-winning cookbook, “Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables,” he describes his version of vignole as an “interpretation of the classic Roman springtime dish.” Vignole showcases an assortment of vegetables that are gently cooked until tender, losing their bright green hue but not their alluring green flavor.
Along with the vegetables, a generous amount of finely chopped prosciutto comes to the party, offering sweet and salty allure. Fresh mint, parsley, lemon zest and lemon juice add a final flourish, along with cooked ditalini (small, short tubular pasta).
Yield: 6 generous servings
1/2 pound green onions, roots trimmed, 1-inch trimmed off dark green stalks and discarded
3 ounces chilled, thinly sliced prosciutto
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound frozen shelled edamame; see cook’s notes
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed, stalks cut at an angle into 1/2-inch pieces, tips left whole
8 ounces Tuscan kale, central stems removed and discarded, leaves cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup water
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup packed roughly chopped Italian parsley
Finely grated zest and 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
8 ounces ditalini pasta (or other small pasta), cooked al dente, drained
For serving: freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Cook’s notes: McFadden’s recipe calls for 2 pounds of fava beans in their pods. To prep them takes time and patience. They need to be shelled, blanched, and peeled. I substitute ready-to- use edamame. The choice is yours.
1. Cut green onions into 1 1/2-inch pieces; cut bulb ends in half. Stack prosciutto slices; roll them into a cylinder and slice crosswise into thin strips. Cut crosswise into small bits. This is easier if you chill the prosciutto in the freezer for a few minutes first.
2. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in large Dutch oven or other big heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add garlic, green onions, and prosciutto. Reduce the heat to medium low, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook until onions are soft but not browning, about 12 minutes.
3. Add shelled edamame, snap peas, asparagus, kale and 1 cup water. Cover and cook at a low simmer until all vegetables are soft, 15 to 20 minutes. You want the consistency to be slightly brothy, and though most of the liquid will come from the vegetable juices, add a bit more water if need be.
4. Remove from heat. Add mint, parsley, zest and lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning so the stew is rich and savory. Drizzle with more olive oil. Serve over ditalini pasta. Drizzle a tiny bit more olive oil over individual servings. Pass the Parmigiano at the table.
Source: “Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables” by Joshua McFadden (Artisan, $35)
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