Primavera Vegetable Casserole

1K

Primavera means spring in Italian.  Artichokes, peas, and asparagus are spring vegetables.  These popular vegetables are prepared individually and combined in various Italian dishes.  My friend Gerry was kind enough to share his Sicilian mother’s spring vegetable casserole recipe with me.  The original recipe inspired me to create this

Primavera means spring in Italian.  Artichokes, peas, and asparagus are spring vegetables.  These popular vegetables are prepared individually and combined in various Italian dishes.  My friend Gerry was kind enough to share his Sicilian mother’s spring vegetable casserole recipe with me.  The original recipe inspired me to create this creamy vegetable dish of artichokes, asparagus, peas, and mushrooms with besciamella (white sauce), cheese, and a breadcrumb topping.

This incredibly rich dish is great to serve at a holiday meal or any special occasion.  You can make it several hours ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to bake.  Just allow for a longer baking time if refrigerated. 

This incredibly rich dish is great to serve at a holiday meal or any special occasion.  You can prepare it several hours ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to bake.  Just allow for a longer baking time if refrigerated. 

Primavera Vegetable Casserole

Difficulty Rating:  Easy
Makes 10 servings.

Ingredients

For the Topping:
3/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Sauce:
2 cups milk
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
Pinch nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the Vegetables:
2 packages (12-ounces each) frozen artichoke hearts
20-ounces sliced mushrooms
1 cup diced onion
1 package (10-ounce) fresh English peas
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 tablespoons butter
Salt

Directions: 

Defrost and Drain Artichokes:  Place the artichokes to defrost and drain in a colander over the sink, about 1 to 1½ hours. 

Make the Topping:  Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Make the Sauce:  Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it begins to foam.  Stir in the flour.  Cook approximately 2 minutes stirring constantly, until lightly colored.  Do not let the mixture brown.  

Whisk in the milk all at once until smooth.  Add nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Continue to whisk until mixture is thick and bubbling, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. 

Sautè the Vegetables:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat.  Sautè the asparagus briefly for 3 to 4 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl.

Using the same pan, melt the butter and stir in the onion.  Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. 

Add the remaining olive oil and stir in the mushrooms.  Salt to taste.  Cook stirring constantly, about 5 minutes until mushrooms start to sweat.  Transfer to bowl with asparagus. 

Add the artichokes, peas, sauce, and cheese to the bowl with asparagus and mushrooms.  Taste for salt. Stir until just combined.  

Spoon vegetable mixture into a 3-quart baking dish and sprinkle breadcrumbs on top.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake 25 to 30 minutes longer until breadcrumbs are golden brown, and mixture is bubbling along the sides. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close
A Sicilian Peasant's Table © Copyright 2023. All rights reserved.
Close