Mamy Jeanne’s Jardiniere de Legumes

18 Apr
Spring vegetables waiting for the chop

Spring vegetables waiting for the chop

I’ve just cooked and devoured the first ‘Jardiere’ of the season.  I normally follow Mamy Jeanne’s recipe (listed below in this post), but hang on a minute!  I’ve just found in the collection, a version by the lovely Francoise Bernard!…

'Les Recettes Faciles' (easy Recipes) by Francoise Bernard, Librairie Hachette, 1965

‘Les Recettes Faciles’ (easy Recipes) by Francoise Bernard, Librairie Hachette, 1965

Francoise Bernard's version

Francoise Bernard’s version

Here’s Mamy Jeanne’s version from an older post…

Bon appetit.


It’s the season of peas.  How delicious and sweet they are – served in the pods as a nibble during the aperitif, or boiled or steamed.  I grew up with my fair share of them – Mum always hid them in the mashed potato –  and I loved them like that even if ‘green’ was a no-go zone at the time.  But I must say that the peas we ate were more of the frozen in a bag variety (feeding a family takes a lot of shelling I now realise).  Now it’s a delight to find so many fresh peas around at the markets and Lilas and I’ve had a great time sitting amongst the rows of vineyards (Benjamin uses them as a ‘green fertiliser’) picking and eating them.

Lilas shelling peas for Mum

Lilas shelling peas with her mum

A couple of years ago, my parents-in-law brought Mamy Jeanne with them to stay at our place (Mamy Jeanne is Benjamin’s maternal grandmother and ever since my arrival in France has been a huge support – even when my French was non-existant and communication was conveyed by gestures).  Not one to sit around and enjoy  being waited on , Mamy wanted to help contribute to the numerous family reunions we were having that week and prepare a few of her favourite Spring dishes from over the years.  And we’re talking a few Springtimes here – Mamy is 90 and also been known to wield a ping-pong bat in games against the great-grandchildren.

Mamy Jacqueline et Mamy Jeanne

I just love this photo of the two Mamys: Here is Mamy Jeanne on the right and Mamy Jacqueline on the left. Tres stylish femmes!

Jardiniere de Legumes

Jardiniere de Legumes

So I took Mamy to the local market and she was very keen to buy up on the peas.  She wanted to show me how to make a Jardiniere de Legumes (as one of my husband’s favourite dishes, it was almost a family duty to add this to the repertoire) and I was very eager to hover over the stove as she did it.

When the peas are abundant in Spring and you have the arrival of the other ‘legumes nouveaux’ (new vegetables), this dish is served on many French tables.  It’s extremely easy, colourful and healthy. We had some Australian friends to stay recently and with a couple of vegetarians amongst them, it was a perfect meal.

Mamy Jeanne’s Jardiniere de Legumes

(please note that quantities are approximate – I vary them, depending on how it looks in the pot)



10 or so lettuce leaves (any type of green salad leaf)

10 carrots

10 potatoes

6 turnips

4 onions – or about 8-10 new baby onions

367 432 peas (that’s what it seems like – but make it about 800g, unshelled)

bay leaves

fresh thyme

butter, olive oil

salt, pepper

salted pork (this is optional – depending on how you feel and if there any any vegos)



First I like to fry the onion in a good chunk of butter and olive oil until almost golden as I enjoy the sweetness (and easier for hubby to digest).

(I read a recipe where a women likes to caramelize a bit of sugar in her pot first, but I really don’t think you need to when the new vegetables are so sweet and fresh)

Once onion is done, add the salad leaves and stir well until leaves are floppy.  If using pork, add now too.

            Then add the carrots, potatoes, turnips, all cut into random, small chunks (some like to perfectly dice each vegetable but I think this looks too neat!), and herbs.

            Add water to the pot, until vegetables are just covered, close lid and simmer after boiling for about one hour – or until vegetables are to your liking (the French have a reputation for very well-cooked vegetables, something unheard of in the Asian-focused cuisine so popular in Australia!)

Remember to add the shelled peas about half-an hour into the cooking time.  I don’t like to add them from the beginning as they can get mushy.


Serve on its own or as an accompaniment to veal, pork or chicken, with a big pot of French mustard on the side.

served up

served up


8 Responses to “Mamy Jeanne’s Jardiniere de Legumes”

  1. Katharina April 18, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

    Can I beam over to have a try?

  2. tracysr1 April 20, 2013 at 12:28 am #

    Hello Kat. I’m heading back to Adelaide next week. I’m looking forward to seeing Auntie Val and heading up to the hills for Uncle Richard’s birthday luncheon at the scenic pub in norton summit. Then I’m off with mum and dad for a few days at corny point on the york peninsular. Mum was asking what we should eat – I reckon we could use this recipe! merci beaucoup

    • The vigneron's wife April 20, 2013 at 12:46 am #

      Hi Tracy. Have a really great trip over there and please send Auntie Val and Uncle Richard my love. Wish I could be there! I love that pub in Norton Summit too – such a beautiful spot, and Yorkes! You’re doing all the old haunts!
      Enjoy your time xoxo

  3. Mathilde April 20, 2013 at 1:43 am #

    Miam !

  4. BarryE April 22, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

    Kat, you are so lucky to have all these lovely new vegies so early in the year. Here in eastern England we only shook off the snow two or three weeks back and still had frosts last weekend. Even the Daffodils in the garden (usually out for St David’s day, March 1st) are only beginning to show tiny yellow points this week. It’s been a long hard winter, but let’s hope that means we’ll have a “proper” summer too.

    It’ll be a while before we can try your dish, but try it we will as soon as the ingredients can be found.

    • The vigneron's wife April 26, 2013 at 1:03 am #

      Yes, it sounds like it has been frigging freezing your way Barry – hang in there!
      It’s great to hear from you.
      And let’s look forward to some sun and Rose time!

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