Why are the French so flipping brilliant at making seriously tasty vegetable dishes?! I’m sure it’s because they don’t worry whether something is vegetarian or not, they just put the right flavours together to scale those vegetables from downright bland to miraculous.
We stayed with our family friends in Paris last weekend and lunch was roast chicken (from a rotisserie – the French are good at making cooking easy too!) with a huge platter of vegetables jardinière and bacon. I could have just eaten this dish with loads of French bread (and wine) forever.
The bacon, garlic, white wine and extra virgin olive oil make the vegetables sing. For all you mums and dads who are desperately trying to get your little ones to eat more greens, feed them this recipe, they’ll love it.
Miraculous ingredient: Bacon lardons, carrots, frozen peas, good quality white wine
Vegetables jardinière with bacon lardons
250g bacon lardons (I liked smoked for more flavour)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
500g carrots, peeled and cut into batons
300g peas (either frozen or fresh)
A bunch of spring onions, trimmed and cut into 2cm slices
100ml white wine
Sea salt to season
Use a large, deep frying pan that has a lid. Place the pan on a medium heat and fry the bacon lardons with a little olive oil (1 tablespoon) until the fat has melted. Once the bacon has browned, remove and leave to one side on a plate.
Add the finely chopped garlic to the pan and fry for 30 seconds (do not let it brown and become bitter). Add the carrots, spring onions, all the olive oil and the white wine. Season with salt (approximately ½ teaspoon) and fry for 5 minutes until the wine has mostly evaporated. Add an espresso size cup of water, cover the pan with the lid and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes.
If you’re using frozen peas, place them in a bowl and microwave on high for 4 minutes to defrost and cook slightly. You might need to add more water to if the pan becomes too dry. When the carrots are lovely and soft, add the peas. Cook for a further 5 minutes with the lid on.
Stir in the bacon lardons, check the seasoning, add another drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve.
Preparation time 5 minutes, cooking 25 minutes, serves 4