In America, artichokes are seldom served without either melted butter or hollandaise sauce, but in the South of France they are served in several different ways: stuffed au gratin, à la vinaigrette, or simply seasoned.
In this version of artichauts à la barigoule (or farigoule, which is the Provençal word for thyme), small amounts of cooked vegetables and ham are wedged between the artichoke leaves, then the artichokes are simmered in white wine, vegetables, and herbs. It is a savory and delicate dish, perfect for a luncheon’s main dish.
Wash the artichokes, cut off the stems, and remove the outer leaves. Cut off the hard tips of the leaves with kitchen shears. Scald the artichokes in a large pot of salted boiling water, to which the lemon juice has been added, for 5 minutes. Set aside.
Remove the fuzzy choke with a spoon or knife or a melon scoop by forcing open the inner leaves and scooping it out. Scrape the bottom to clean it out as much as possible.
To make the stuffing, heat
When the artichokes have cooled, put them upside down and press to force the leaves to open. Push the stuffing between the layers of leaves, forcing it down as deeply as you can. (The distribution need not be precise, but be sure to use all of the filling if possible.) Sprinkle the artichokes with a little olive oil, pepper, and salt (omit this if you used salt pork), and place in a heavy-bottomed casserole or Doufeu.
* Instead of the globe, use 12 small purple artichokes if you can find them. They are easier to prepare because their tenderness makes it unnecessary to blanch them.
Sprinkle the carrots, the remaining onions, and
Place the artichokes in a covered shallow dish to keep warm. Force the carrots and onions through a sieve with a large spoon or pestle. Put the purée back into the wine broth, simmer for 5 minutes and pour over the artichokes.
© 1990 Mireille Johnston estate. All rights reserved.