A French “jardinière” is a colorful mixed vegetable side dish, usually served along with a big feast of meat –such as a Beef Sirloin Tip Roast. I love that there is no strict rules when composing a Jardinière: you can use vegetables according to what is in season – or in your garden (jardinière meaning a female gardener in French)
By deduction, Spring is a wonderful season to compose a jardinière, and I love to play with seasonal vegetables such as spring peas, green beans, wax beans and carrots to create this vibrant side dish.
With Easter around the corner and because this side dish is so versatile, I wanted to share a twist on it: with fresh herbs and a simple sugar glaze. The sugar glaze is a simple and classic French method that I use often on vegetables (like in the Petits Pois à la Nivernaise). It just effortlessly elevates a simple vegetable side to a memorable one; or you can even enjoy them as a main with a soft-boiled egg on top. The herbs add a whole punch of fragrance and freshness too.
It is sure to be a must on your Easter table, or any hosting occasion!
- A Vegetable Jardinière is a simple celebration of the season; and can be turned into a great accompaniment to any dish. I suggest you take this recipe more as a set of directions rather than an actual recipe (play with and adapt vegetables and herbs).
- For the vegetables, follow your mood and opt for the ones of your liking that are in season right now, wherever you live. Turnips, parsnips, snow peas and pearl onions work great too in a jardinière. Fresh vegetables are best, although frozen and canned can work too (but remember this dish is about celebrating seasonal vegetables, so fresh is definitely best – and more logical).
- For the herbs, you can also opt for a delicate chervil or a more fragrant-tasting basil or dill.
8 small carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise (or 4 large carrots, quartered lengthwise)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
250g green beens
250g wax beans
250g small peas
2 shallots, peeled and diced
4 tbsp (60g) unsalted butter
2 tbsp (25g) sugar
10 sprigs curly or flat-leaf parsley, stemmed and roughly chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Optional : 4 soft-boiled eggs, for serving.
Step 1 - Prepare an ice bath. Place the carrots and garlic in a large pot of salted water, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the green beans, wax beans, small peas and blanch until tender but still crisp, 3 to 5 minutes (the carrots and garlic should be crisp-tender as well). Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the ice bath to cool completely. Drain well and pat dry.
Step 2 - In a large frying pan, melt the butter and add the diced shallots. Cook for 2 minutes until translucent. Add the sugar, chopped parsley, vegetables, salt and pepper. Cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally (be gentle when stirring, so carrots don’t break). Adjust seasoning if needed.
Serve immediately as a side dish, or as a main in individual bowls with a solf-boiled egg on top.