Friday, March 16, 2012

Barigoule with Vanilla

 

So this is pretty fascinating. Barigoule once referred to a specific Provençal variety of woodland mushroom. French peasants would stuff fresh artichokes with the barigoules and then braise them in a white wine thyme broth finished with lemon for a bit of tartness. Over time the dish evolved to artichoke hearts braised alongside barigoules along with other vegetables such as onion, carrot, etc. Eventually barigoules fell entirely out of favor and Barigoule came to simply mean a thyme and vegetable braise where the vegetables may vary (except for the artichokes- you must always have artichokes in your Barigoule!) as does the broth (wine, vegetable, or chicken broth).

Bon Appetit provided a new twist on the classic in this month’s issue with a Barigoule recipe substituting broccoli for artichokes and featuring the addition of vanilla. Thou shall not take away my beloved artichokes! Accordingly, when I made this for dinner tonight I used artichokes (4 of them) that I hand trimmed instead of broccoli. I also improved upon the magazine recipe by grilling the asparagus and onion briefly over a hot fire before adding to the braise for a greater depth of flavor (their method is to blanch the vegetables before adding to the braise). Finally, I added parsnips to the vegetable medley and a tablespoon of butter for richness. My changes are reflected in the recipe below. It’s a perfect Lenten meal (for those abstaining from meat on Fridays) or an everyday lovely choice for vegetarians (substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth for strict vegetarians and omit butter for vegans).  Enjoy!

Serves 6 as a main course

  • 1 lemon
  • 4 small artichokes, trimmed to the hearts and stem
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled, halved lengthwise
  • 2 medium white onions, each cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 12-ounce bunch asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 10 coriander seeds
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) white wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  •  

  • Cut lemon crosswise into 1/4"-thick slices; set aside.
  • Place chicken broth in a small saucepan over low heat and scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat; let infuse for 10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, cook carrots and parsnips in a large pot of boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a dish and set aside. Repeat in same pot, first with fennel and then artichokes, returning water to a boil between batches.

  • While veggies are blanching, toss asparagus and onion lightly in another T of olive oil and grill over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. You want them to develop a bit of color for depth of flavor but you don’t want them cooked all the way through.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 T butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add artichoke, carrots, onions, fennel, and garlic; cook for 1 minute. Add coriander, next 3 ingredients, and infused broth with bean. Cover with lid slightly ajar; simmer until vegetables are tender, 12-15 minutes. Stir in asparagus during the last 5 minutes.

  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to a warm serving dish. Bring broth to a boil and cook until reduced to 1 cup. Return vegetables to dutch oven; drizzle with  remaining tablespoon oil and 1 teaspoon vinegar to taste. Season with salt, pepper, and additional vinegar, if desired. Provide lemon wedges at the table for everyone to finish the dish with a sprinkling of lemon.

  • Suggestion: serve with fresh bread.