Tbikha: Algiers-style spring vegetables

This jardinière, or mixed spring vegetable dish, is the perfect way to get your fill of delicious seasonal produce. High in protein and low in fat, tbikha is ever so simple to prepare and makes a perfect hot supper for a cold spring evening.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups of fresh peas, shelled
  • 3 cups of fresh broad beans, shelled but with the skin on
  • 4 artichokes
  • 1/2 cup of white rice
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 bunch of coriander

METHOD

  1. Prepare the artichokes by stripping away the outer leaves, scooping out the fluffy centre and then trimming around the edges of the artichoke hearts with a paring knife. Place the hearts in water with lemon juice to keep them from browning until ready to use.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil over a medium heat and add the crushed garlic, pepper, hot paprika and sweet paprika. Toast for around three minutes.
  3. Add a tablespoon of tomato paste diluted in half a cup of water and cook for another three minutes, stirring regularly to prevent it from burning.
  4. Rinse and pick over the peas and beans before adding them to the pan and covering them with boiling water. Add a teaspoon of salt and then add the artichoke hearts, pushing them down into the boiling sauce.
  5. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes adding hot water from the kettle where necessary to prevent the sauce from boiling dry.
  6. Add the rice and continue to cook for 10 more minutes, allowing the liquid to reduce down and thicken slightly. The artichokes should be just about to melt.
  7. Stir in the chopped coriander and served with chunky bread.

If you can’t find fresh vegetables, frozen will do, but for this particular dish stay away from tinned veg, which aren’t nearly as flavourful.