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
- 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
- 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.
As to the weird weeds….
Does anyone know what this is?
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:
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.