All About Artichokes


Georgeanne Brennan

Georgeanne Brennan is the author of more than 30 cookbooks and gardening books and has written extensively about Provence and France.

Artichoke and Fava Barigoule

Artichoke and Fava Barigoule

This is a favorite springtime dish in Provence, when the gardens and markets are full of young, tender artichokes and fava beans. Young, small artichokes are best to use in this dish, as the inner chokes or thistles have not yet developed. If you are using large artichokes, which may have sharp-tipped inner leaves around the choke, remove these along with the thistle.


1. To prepare the artichokes, first fill a bowl with cold water and add the juice of one lemon.

2. Working with one artichoke at a time, trim the stem even with the base. Snap off the small tough leaves around the base and trim the stub ends flush. Cut off the top one-third of each artichoke. Cut the artichoke in half lengthwise or in quarters if large. If there are any purple-tipped inner leaves, remove them. Rub the cut surfaces with the lemon half to prevent browning, put in the bowl of lemon-water and set aside.

3. To remove the tough outer skins of the fava beans, bring a pot of water to a boil. Blanch for 20 seconds and drain. When the beans are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins.

4. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan or sauté pan with a lid. When it is hot, add the garlic and sauté. Add the artichokes and favas, and sauté briefly. Then add the white wine, scraping up any bits; add the broth. Add the salt, thyme and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the artichokes are tender, about 15 minutes.

5. Remove and let stand until ready to serve. Serve hot or at room temperature.