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Updated: Jul 14, 2021

I happened today to find at The Nag’s Head garlic shoots, not wild garlic as found here. These look very much like spring onions, but smell of sweet garlic and have a very subtle garlic flavour, similar to the wild garlic found in Britain. I have never seen these in England before and became quite excited and as we had had a couple of warm days behind us was feeling spring in the air.

So, I purchased the garlic shoots, a couple of artichokes, some broad beans, fennel, runner beans, some parsley and mint.

As I had some basic tomato sauce, made with onions and basil and a good chicken broth already in the fridge rice was an easy choice as the medium for these vegetables.

First prepare the vegetables. Peel and slice the artichokes into pieces maybe only 3 mm thick. Keep in water with some lemon juice to stop them discolouring. Remove the outer leaf of the fennel if tough. Halve and slice finely. Keep any sprouting parts from the top of the stem. Slice the runner beans about 1 cm long. Finely slice the garlic shoots. Blanch the

broad beans in unsalted water for a minute or two and refresh in cold water. Do the same for the runner beans in salted water. Heat a heavy bottomed saucepan with some olive oil and when good and hot throw in the drained artichokes. Give them a little colour and then add the garlic shoots and the fennel, followed, when they have coloured a bit by the broad beans, the runner beans and some chopped parsley and mint. Remove and now stir in a spoon or two of your tomato sauce followed by the rice. Some fino or dry white wine now is a good idea, if available. Stir rapidly and then add plenty of stock, bring to the boil and let it simmer gently, stirring occasionally. Add the vegetables after a few minutes and continue to stir occasionally until the rice is cooked. Season well and serve with some more herbs on top and maybe a wedge of lemon.

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