Artichokes with Creamed Peas & Bacon; weird weeds

Spring is here.

That means it’s almost time to switch to outdoor cooking.

Mon mari bought a new gas grill the other day so it’s starting to look serious.

That means I have to empty the freezer of ‘winter’ foods – like artichoke bottoms and peas.

I keep artichoke bottoms on hand to toss into tagines or risottos and peas are great for adding to a stir-fry.

I won’t be making any of those things until fall.

I was baffled on how to combine peas and artichoke bottoms into something interesting…. then I remembered my mother’s fondness for creamed peas.

My mother cooked vegetables in one of two ways: either with browned butter or cream.

Peas were always with heavy cream.

She would have been appalled to have them in artichoke bottoms.

We, however were quite pleased….

Actually, they were so good I’m making them again tonight.

And to be clear…. You may have read here that I can’t get good bacon. That’s still true. But the smoked ‘lardons’ are wonderful. They are already cut to the size you see in the photo – great for salads, not so great for breakfast strips.

Artichokes with Creamed Peas & Bacon

Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2oz (60gr) bacon, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 large or 4 small artichoke bottoms
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche

artichokes and creamed peas

Instructions:

  • If peas are frozen rinse in warm water to thaw slightly and separate.
  • If artichoke bottoms are frozen cook according to package directions.
  • When done, drain if cooked in water and cover to keep warm if needed.
  • Heat oil over medium heat in a small skillet. Add bacon and fry until crisp. Remove and set aside.
  • Add shallots and sauté until tender and starting to brown, about 7 minutes.
  • Add peas, cover, reduce heat and let cook briefly, just until peas are hot and tender.
  • Uncover, remove from heat and stir in crème fraîche.
  • Put artichoke bottoms on 2 small plates, fill with Creamed Peas, garnish with Bacon and serve.

Print Recipe

As to the weird weeds….

Does anyone know what this is?

weed2

There are a few of them scattered under our fig trees. Because they’re growing on a bank I’m assuming they’re weeds.

Of course, I could (likely) be wrong.

Here’s another one:

weed

Weeds and garden flowers tend to cross lines here in France. I’ve seen the same flowers along the roadsides as I see in proper flower beds.

And of course we see sunflowers and rape flowers sprouting in the ditches as well – carried by the wind at harvest.

I usually just look and appreciate the beauty – but I’m curious about these….

They’re very pretty, almost translucent, when the sun shines on them.

Last update on April 8, 2016

10 thoughts on “Artichokes with Creamed Peas & Bacon; weird weeds”

  1. I have only seen them in the summer months adorned with red berries. There are some plants under our bay tree and also on the banks of the nearby river

  2. nightsmusic, thanks for all the info! I’ve seen one or two other years but this year they seem to be everywhere, They’re under the fig and hazelnut trees. Maybe I’m just seeing them because it’s been too wet too mow there yet.

    sullimaybe, really? I’ll have to ask about them in my French class….

    Gill, I have a few under the bay, too – and I do remember the berries.

  3. Katie, that’s exactly why you haven’t seen them, I’m guessing. They must have gotten mowed down all the time LOL

    Our old house property went half an acre into a nature preserve where the wildflowers, Jack in the Pulpit, Mayapples and Trillium all grew prolifically. Because they grew naturally on my property, there was never any question as to whether I could pick them or dig them up. They were mine. I figured when we moved here I wouldn’t have the best growing conditions for them and unfortunately, I was correct, though I had to try. But they’re only illegal to pick here in certain areas.

    How to propagate them:

    http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/plant-of-the-week/arisaema_triphyllum.shtml

  4. Zoomie – calla lilliies? How interesting!

    nightsmusic, our mower is broke – so I’m seeing them everywhere in our field lol I always saw the leaves and wondered if there was a flower. Now I know.

    Elizabeth, it’s the base of the artichoke – kind of saucer shaped. They’re from a big artichoke. Artichoke ‘hearts’ include it but are from very small artichokes.

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