Ever seen a piquet? You have now.

Some older recipe books will call for an “onion stuck with cloves” and, until recently, this made absolutely no sense to me and I basically ignored it. In a recent attempt to make a gigantic pot roast the recipe I was using not only called for this onion contraption, but explained it. You see the result above. It’s an aromatic intended to flavor a stock, soup, or long-cooked meat dish by the clever combination of onion and clove, here with the added bonus of a bay leaf.

Of course you can accomplish the same thing with any number of aromatics, in all sorts of arrangements, but why not embrace a technique that’s been part of cooking for hundreds of years (probably, it didn’t have a wikipedia article). I first saw it in James Beard’s fantastic Beard on Food, and that alone should be good enough reason to trust the charming piquet, as if you even needed one.