This classic spring vegetable ragout is from La cucina livornese. It is another gem from the repertoire of
Have ready a large bowl of water to which you have added the lemon juice. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, cut off the stem even with the base. Remove all the tough outer leaves until you reach the pale green heart. Pare away the dark green area from the base. Cut the artichoke in half lengthwise and scoop out and discard the choke from each half. Drop the heart into the lemon water to prevent discoloration.
Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil, add the favas, and blanch for 30 seconds. Drain and, when cool enough to handle, slip off the thin skin covering each bean. Core the lettuces and slice the leaves crosswise into ½-inch-wide strips. Drain the artichoke hearts, pat dry, and cut into quarters, eighths, or thick slices.
Remove the artichoke mixture from the heat, sprinkle with the gremolata, and stir well. Let rest for 5 minutes—enough time for the garlic in the gremolata to soften—then serve.
© 1998 Joyce Goldstein. All rights reserved.