A wonderful update to the classic Provençal barigoule, this dish, light and full of flavor, with the addition of fiddlehead ferns and fava beans, definitely marks the arrival of spring!
*Note: Salmon or sea scallops would also work with this dish.
Trim off the outer leaves of the artichokes. Then, with a paring knife, cut off the inner leaves until only the heart remains. Cut into quarters, and rub with lemon juice to prevent browning.
Heat the olive oil in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Render the bacon until it is done, but not crispy or burnt. Add the fennel, onion, leeks, and garlic. Sauté until the onion is translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the wine and bring to boil over high heat. Then, add the vegetable stock, return to a boil, and add the artichokes. Once the artichokes are tender, drain, reserving the cooking liquid, and let cool. Discard the fennel, onion, leeks, and garlic.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and set up an ice bath. Blanch the fiddlehead ferns and fava beans until al dente, about 3-5 minutes. Then, drain and transfer to the ice bath. Remove from the ice bath and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Sauté the fiddlehead ferns and fava beans for 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Brush the olive oil on both sides of the halibut fillets. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the fillets and cook for about 5-7 minutes, turning once to sear both sides.
In another sauté pan, heat about 1 cup of the artichoke braising liquid and 2 cups of the trimmed artichokes. Transfer to serving bowls or deep plates. Place the halibut portions on top, and serve the fiddlehead fern mixture alongside. Garnish with the dill.