If you are looking for authentic, traditional recipes from the Greek island of Crete, it would be hard to find one more traditional that this. It requires a lot of shopping around, especially if you're not living in Greece, because its three main ingredients may be hard to find in your own country.
Fresh artichokes (instead of pre-cooked, pre-packaged ones), fresh and green broad beans (rather than the dried ones you usually find in abandance) and large snails, a delicacy that may put many people off (even though they don't know what they are missing), are essential ingredients that don't allow for substitutions.
So, if you have made the effort and managed to have found them, let's not waste time and get cooking!
1 kg fresh broad beans
4 large potatoes, cut in 4 or 6 pieces depending on their size
500 gr large snails (alive, not cooked)
5 large fresh artichokes
1 glass extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch of fresh dill. finely chopped
3 spring onions, sliced
1 medium sized white onion, sliced
1 tbsp corn flour
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt, pepper, cumin to taste
1) Peel the artichokes, gradually removing the leaves. Cut in half the 'heart' (its middle part) of the artichoke, the part which is a bit fluffy, and clean it. Rub them with a lemon so they don't go brown in colour.
2) Wash and clean the broad beans, making sure you pull the fibers on the side away.Divide them into smaller pieces. If some of them are too ripe, remove the beans from inside.
3) Wash the snails and boil them for 5 minutes in hot water to clean them. Remove the small membrane at the entrance of their shells. Place them in a colander to dry.
4) Pour the glass of olive oil into a pot and heat it under medium heat. Add the snails, the chopped dill, the onions and a pinch of salt. Brown them.
5) Add the broad beans, stir well and cook for a further 5 minutes.
6) Add the artichokes and the potatoes.
7) Add enough boiling water to our cooking pot so all the ingredients are covered. Add cumin, pepper and more salt if needed. Let it cook for a further 50 minutes under medium heat.
8) When our food is ready, mix the juice of one lemon with the corn flour in a bowl. Gradually add half a glass of the juices from our cooking pot, stiring constantly.
9) Add the corn flour mix in the pot and let the food cook for a further 5 minutes, so the juices thicken.
10) Serve hot, sprinling some freshly ground black pepper.