Artichokes Barigoule a Provencal Bistro Classic
Provencal Bistro Classic
We stumbled across the Bistrot du Paradou quite by hazard, on one of our drives around the Alpilles villages. It turns out that we were quite naive with regards to this restaurant’s gastronomic reputation and its loyal fan base. We now understand just how lucky we were to get a seat at the bar on our first visit (sans reservations) to this little bistro in paradise! The menu is straightforward traditional Provencal bistro favourites such as escargots in garlic butter, local lamb chops and artichokes barigoule.
Fait Maison (Made in House)
Some may erroneously proclaim this sort of bistro cooking to be dated or that French food, in general, is passé. Or perhaps that even the chef did not cook with the same clean purity found in the hallowed halls of overly fussy food. Let them continue to believe their fallacies and leave the good simple restaurants to those that truly love food.
Bistrot du Paradou was so good that in fact, we returned two more times that week to enjoy good solid Provencal food. On the third visit, the entire staff made us feel part of the local colour; almost habitues ready to join the good ole boys for a pastis at the bar.
Enjoy my recipe for artichokes barigoule (baby artichokes simmered in white wine, thyme, and basil) inspired by our visit to the Bistrot du Paradou.
Artichokes Barigoule Provencal Recipe
In honor of the Bistrot du Paradou, I offer my recipe for artichokes barigoule. It is a mainstay dish on my table from the very early artichokes in spring that my friend Patreece grows at her organic farm near Tillamook.
- 1cup (235 ml) Artichoke cooking liquid
- 1cup (235 ml) White Wine
- 1/4cup (60 ml) Fruity Olive Oil
- 3oz (85 g) Smoked Lamb Bacondiced
- 2each Young Carrotspeeled and sliced
- 3 Garlic Clovesmashed
- 2sprigs Thyme
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 Lemon for zest and juice
- 1/4cup (56 g) Fresh Basilsliced
- 2oz (56 g) Unsalted Butteroptional
- Sea salt and black pepper
* The purpose is to add just enough bright acidity to cut the fattiness of the olive oil and butter. The lemon flavour should not overpower the barigoule.
Like any recipe, this one loves modifications. Use bacon, don't use bacon; use pork bacon, use pancetta, use guanciale. Add more carrots if you like. I sometimes chop fennel bulbs and add them as well. Wild mushrooms like chanterelles are great in here, so are regular white buttons. Go crazy add black truffles if you have some. The point is, the recipe is a starting point. The finish line is where you take it.
Bistrot du Paradou
57 Avenue de la Vallée des Baux
They don’t have (or need) a website so give them a call at +33 (0)4 90 54 32 70