Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spring Vegetable Stew

Monday April 18

Yes, it's the first seder night, but for us the promised land is Spring.

We've already written about this recipe adapted from Food & Wine but this time we'll write it down more like we actually did it.

1 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths, tips separated

1 bag fresh fava beans in pod (shelled, maybe a half cup)

1/2 lb. tiny purple potatoes or fingerlings, whole

extra-virgin olive oil

5 thin scallions, chopped, whites and green parts separated

1 pound mushrooms, quartered


2 turnips, peeled and cut into wedges

2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch-long sticks

2 cups chicken stock

Two zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick

1 lemonsworth finely grated lemon zest

1 lemonsworth lemon juice (from zested lemon)

1 tablespoon chopped chervil

1 teaspoon minced chives

Get a big pot of salted water simmering. In it, cook the asparagus butts, then tips, over moderate heat until tender, 3-4 minutes total. Using a handled sieve, transfer the asparagus to a BIG bowl (just wait till you see what goes in). Add the favas to the water and parboil about 2 minutes. Remove with sieve, chill under cold water, and remove whitish husks, revealing vivid green beans within. Put beans in bowl with asparagus, while husks go in the compost (there's lots of that tonight). Back in the simmering pot, throw in the potatoes and cook until tender.

Meanwhile, in a heavy enameled soup pot, heat some of the olive oil. Add the scallion whites and cook over moderate heat until barely tender, about 1 minute. Transfer the scallions to the bowl with the asparagus. Add a generous slosh of the olive oil to the pot and brown the mushrooms, seasoned with salt, until dark and tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer them to the bowl.

Heat more olive oil in the casserole. Add the turnips and carrots, season with salt and cook over moderate heat for a minute; then add the stock, cover, and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes until edible. Add the zucchini and simmer until crisp tender, about 2 minutes. Finally add back the whole big bowl of vedge, along with the scallion greens, lemon zest and lemon juice, and reheat. When hot, sprinkle in chervil and chives, stir them around a few times, and ladle the stew into bowls.

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