Surprise, surprise – Papillotes d’artichauts et pommes de terre à la Provençale

If you like a light and healthy cuisine and yet very easy to prepare, well papillotes are for you. This cooking technique can accommodate any ingredient, fish, meat, fruits, vegetables, etc… and papillotes can be prepared in advance and are cooked at the last minute, so you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen when the guest are having fun.

Even though easy to prepare, there are some basic rules that need to be followed when preparing a papillote, such as cutting finely and regularly the fruits or vegetables to reduce cooking time and keep the flavors. Also marinating some fishes, seafood, or poultry to enhance the dish. Aren’t those a delightful way to serve your side dish when you have guests? It’s like a little present on your plate, you open it like a candy et voilà, surprise!

You can play with the folding of the papillote, as a rectangle, triangle, as a candy shape, or even heart shape and be creative with it.

Today I found those gorgeous and fresh baby artichokes at my favorite market, and I gave them a provençal makover. You need small creamer potatoes that will remain firm when cooked and you get a delicious dish avec un petit air de Provence. These papillotes would be perfect served with a white fish or poultry. I ate mine as a main meal and it was perfect.

While in France I searched all the new products such as salts, peppers, etc…I found this amazing salt and I fall madly in love with it. It’s a sel gris de Guérande (Grey Guérande salt) with Piment d’Espelette (a fragrant Basque pepper), I love it so much that I just add it in any dish. You could make this yourself, if you buy Piment d’Espelette and Sel gris de Guérande, then mix them together and keep them in an air-tight container for a while to get the salt infused.

You can add sun dried tomatoes and onions to give a little more character to the dish. Also, both aluminum foil or parchment paper can be used, so have fun with your papillotes!

Ingredients for 2

  • 1/2 lb baby artichokes, trimmed and cut in halves
  • 1/2 lb creamer potatoes, cut in halves
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbs dry white wine
  • 1 tsp herbes de Provence
  • about 10 kalamata olives
  • Sel de Guérande au Piment d’Espelette (optional)
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper


Heat olive oil in a pan, add garlic and stir for a few seconds, then add artichokes and potatoes. Coat the vegetables with the olive oil, then add wine. Decrease heat and cover with lid. Cook for about 5 minutes. In a mixing container, add vegetables to herbes de Provence, olives, sun dried tomatoes (if using them), Piment d’Espelette salt and pepper. Mix well.

In a aluminum foil, add a little olive oil, place vegetables on top and close papillote very tightly so no air can get through it.

Cook in a pre-heated oven at 370F for about 15 minutes. remove from the oven and serve.