Artichokes a la Polita: Greek Style Artichoke (Constantinople) Stew

Artichokes a la Polita: Greek Style Artichoke (Constantinople) Stew

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Serves 4-6:
4-6 fresh artichokes
½ – 1/3 cup olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated
8 scallions, thinly sliced
2 carrots, sliced
4 small – medium potatoes, quartered
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (or less)
1-2 lemons, sliced in half for rubbing on artichokes
1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)

Cook the finely chopped onion with the olive oil in a pot over low heat until soft and golden. About 10-15 minutes.

In the meantime, carefully peel the artichokes.

Keep a large bowl halfway filled with ice water and 1-2 lemons cut in half inside the water.

Remove the outer leaves of the artichoke and the hairy choke. Rub it all over with lemon and place in the bowl of water. This will keep them from turning brown.

Add the grated garlic to the pot and warm through. Add scallions and cook over low heat until soft. About 5 minutes.

Add the carrot and all-purpose flour. Mix it and cook for 1-2 minutes over high heat.

Add the artichokes, potatoes and season with salt and pepper.
Pour enough water in the pot to almost cover the vegetables.
Bring to a boil then cover the pot with the lid. Reduce to a medium low heat and cook about 45 minutes or until the vegetables are fully cooked and tender.
Taste and add more salt and pepper in needed.
Add the green peas and stir to combine.

Combine the lemon juice with the cornstarch in a small bowl and mix to dissolve. Begin with a small quantity of lemon juice (1/4 cup) because sometimes lemons are very strong and somewhat bitter. You can always add more lemon juice afterwards.

Note: If you prefer your artichoke stew more on the brothy side, do not add the cornstarch. The addition of cornstarch gives it a creamy velvety texture while thickening it a little bit.

Add the lemon juice and cornstarch mixture to the pot and mix to combine.

Bring to a boil and taste once again for seasoning and add more lemon if desired.

Top with the chopped fresh dill and serve.

The stew will thicken as it sits and tastes wonderful with toasted bread. Enjoy!

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