Try this trusty Tuscan stew topped with a zingy wild garlic oil when it’s in season in Spring. I like ribollita served thick and chunky, so chop the onion, celery and fennel in big but uniform 1-2 cm cubes. Also, older bread works best here as it holds its shape and is able to absorb the flavour of the stew better. I’ve also used spinach here to keep with the season instead of the traditional cavolo nero, but any leafy green that you have lying in the fridge will do.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Photography: Safia Shakarchi
Food Styling: Hattie Arnold
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
½ fennel bulb, chopped
3 sticks celery, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 × 400g tin white beans, drained (butterbeans or cannellini)
150g spinach, washed
500ml vegetable stock
2 slices stale sourdough bread, torn into large chunks
Salt, pepper to taste
For the oil
200g wild garlic leaves, washed and chopped
100g parsley, chopped
200 ml olive oil
Salt to taste
Heat the oil in a large pan, and add the onion, fennel, celery and a pinch of salt and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes until softened, add the garlic and fennel seeds and cook for a further 5 minutes.
While the ribollita cooks, make the garlic oil. You can either use a pestle & mortar or blitz in a small food processor. Blitz the wild garlic, parsley, oil and lemon together and add the salt to taste.
Add the tomatoes, beans and stock and leave to simmer for 25 minutes. Add the spinach, stirring until the spinach has completely wilted. Remove from the heat and add the bread. Leave for 5 minutes before serving topped with the wild garlic oil.
The wild garlic oil will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.