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Riojan menestra

The most elaborate of all menestras, delicious and a stylish display on the table. The result is worth the preparation and cooking time it takes but, be advised, it is not speed cooking; reserve this menestra for a special occasion.


1 lb peas
3 artichoke hearts (hearts only)
2 stk cardoon
6 stk chard (no leaves)
1 lb asparagus (white asparagus spears)
1 lb broad beans (young beans)
1⁄2 lb carrot
1 onion (finely chopped)
5 egg (3 of them hard boiled)
1 lb potato (about 3 medium sized, peeled and cut)
2 clv garlic (minced)
1 lf bay leaf
1 t paprika
1 c flour
1 c wine
  seasoning (to taste)


  1. Prepare cardoons by removing tough outer ribs. Halve inner ribs lengthwise and cut in 2 in pieces. Rub with lemon and soak in water added with lemon juice to prevent browning.
  2. To prepare the artichokes, if used fresh, cut off first the stem and tough outer leaves. Trim 1 in of the top and remove the fuzzy choke in the middle. Halve, rub all the cut edges with lemon and soak in water with added lemon juice to prevent browning.
  3. Wash chard stalks and cut in 2 in pieces. Shell peas and broad beans. Wash and prepare Brussels sprouts. Peel carrots and halve lengthwise, cutting them in 2 in pieces afterwards. Boil all vegetables apart. Not too tender.
  4. Hard boil 3 of the eggs, peel and cut in quarters. Coat in flour and deep fry.
  5. Beat the other two eggs. Coat in flour first, then egg, and fry artichoke hearts, cardoon, chard, carrots, Brussels sprouts and diced potatoes. Arrange in a pot; an earthenware pot will go straight to the table. Lay broad beans, peas and asparagus on top.
  6. Heat 5 tbsp olive oil an a sauté pan. Sauté the onion for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute more. Add paprika, stir and add 1 heaped tbsp flour. Cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the white wine. Take to the boil an simmer for a couple of minutes. Add the bay leaf and a cup of water, season. Take to the boil again and simmer 3 to 4 minutes.
  8. Pour the sauce over the vegetables. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. During the last 5 minutes, lay the egg quarters on top as garnish. Serve and enjoy.
Total time
1 hour, 30 minutes
Cooking time
Preparation time
8 servings


If you are going to use ham or meat, add it in step 6. You should brown it before adding the onion to the pan. Leg of lamb would be the meat used in the Rioja.

Serving size: 1/8 of the original recipe

Percent daily values based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

Amount Per Serving      
Calories   604.36  
Calories From Fat (44%)   267.63  
    % Daily Value
Total Fat 30.24g   47%  
Saturated Fat 4.52g   23%  
Cholesterol 90.43mg   30%  
Sodium 1421.26mg   59%  
Potassium 1655.63mg   47%  
Carbohydrates 65.48g   22%  
Dietary Fiber 15.50g   62%  
Sugar 8.38g      
Sugar Alcohols 0.00g      
Net Carbohydrates 49.98g      
Protein 18.33g   37%  


Spanish cuisine

To prepare this recipe you should get fresh, crunchy vegetables, free from blemishes produced during transport or storage. Don't wait long before cooking them to preserve all their goodness.

Consider this recipe the equivalent of Post Grade studies in menestras. Not many home cooks take the time to prepare it. I hope you will be able to enjoy this exquisite and traditional menestra recipe with your family.

challenging, vegetables
appetizer, side dish
Spanish food recipes
Food in Europe