French,  Savoury

‘Barigoule’ baby artichokes and rubber bands for life

Last week a courier service mistakenly delivered an envelope containing 1,580 rubber bands to our house. They were in fact destined for the UK, so they hadn’t even got the right country, which is really no recommendation when you’re an international courier service. Bearing in mind that we live well off the beaten track, about six kilometres from the nearest village, I had the following conversation with the misguided driver this morning:
Driver : ‘Hello we were wondering whether you still had the envelope containing 1,580 rubber bands  delivered to you last week by mistake?’
Me : ‘Yes. I kept the envelope – I was going to add them to my collection.’
Driver : ‘I have to come and pick the package up this afternoon and wondered whether you could bring it to the nearest village?’
Me : ‘Sure, I’ll make a 12km round trip to save you the trouble. Shall we fix a time now or later for you to come to me and muck out the horses and vacuum the house?’
In the end, he did reluctantly concede that it was probably part of his job description to drive out to us to pick up the envelope and anyway, he would definitely rather do that than muck out my horses. I don’t think he ‘got’ the irony though and probably just thinks that I’m a batty, lazy, rubberband-hoarding hermit!  Not that it really matters what he thinks because this conversation was six hours ago and he still hasn’t managed to find us :lol:.
Artichokes are an excellent source of fibre and also contain plenty of folic acid and vitamins C, K and B complex. They are also a rich source of antioxidants and minerals such as copper, calcium, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus.
This makes a delicious starter or even on its own as a light meal.
Ingredients (serves 4)
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 medium sized onions, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
8 baby artichokes, stems and outer leaves removed and chopped lengthways
4 rashers of smoked bacon, sliced
1 bay leaf
150ml white wine
water to cover vegetables
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon piment d’Espelette  (or paprika)
Brown the onions and garlic in a casserole dish (Dutch oven) in the olive oil. Add the artichokes, being sure to turn and coat them well with olive oil, and the bacon and continue frying for a few minutes. Add the wine and seasoning , cover and continue to simmer for about 45 minutes. There should be just enough liquid to cover the artichokes so you will probably need to add some water. Towards the end of cooking, remove the lid and reduce the liquid by about half.


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