Spring Vegetable Stew Recipe

This is a spring vegetable stew served at Passover in Algeria. The artichoke and fennel combination is served as a salad in Tunisia, minus the celery root and with less garlic, but with the addition of harissa.


3 large artichokes
1 head garlic, cloves separated, peeled and minced, or fewer cloves to taste
¼-cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
5 Tablespoons peanut oil
2 bulbs fennel, trimmed and cut into ½ inch thick slices
1 celery root, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
¼ cup water
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Fill a large bowl with water and add the juice of lemon.
Trim the artichokes by cutting off the stems lush with the bottoms.
Remove all the leaves from the artichokes, scoop out the chokes, and place the artichoke hearts in the lemon water until ready to cook.
Cut one of the lemons into 6 to 8 pieces, and juice the remaining lemon.
In a small bowl, combine the garlic and parsley.
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium beat.
Drain the artichoke hearts and add to the pan, hollow-side up.
Fill the hollows with the garlic mixture.
Arrange the fennel slices and celery root cubes around the artichoke hearts.
Top with the lemon pieces, lemon juice, and water.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cover and simmer until the -vegetables are tender and caramelized but not scorched, about 45 minutes.
Check the liquid level from time to time, adding a bit of water if necessary.
Serve warm.

About Rabbi Michael Sternfield

Michael Sternfield has been a Reform rabbi for 40 years, most recently serving at Chicago Sinai Congregation from 1995 until 2013. He served for 20 years as spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel in San Diego, and briefly as the leader of the Durban, South Africa Progressive Jewish Congregation during South Africa’s historic transition to multi-racial democracy. He is now based in Los Angeles, California.