Hearty Winter Vegetable Stew

Serves 4-6Ingredients 2 Tbs. olive oil 4 shitake mushrooms, cut into quarters 4 small onions, quartered 3 celery stems, roughly chopped into 1cm pieces 4 carrots chopped into 2cm pieces 300 gms potatoes, well scrubbed and cut in to chunks 2 turnips peeled and cut into chunks 1 medium parsnip, peeled and chopped into chunks 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets 2 cloves garlic, crushed Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 2 ½ cups rich vegetable stock ½ cup dry red or white wine 1 Tbs. tamari soy sauce a bunch of parsley and thyme, 1 sage leaf, and a 25 cm stem of rosemary…(dry herbs may be substituted)

Method 1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or other large pot over medium heat. 2.  Cook onions for three minutes.  Add celery, shitakes and carrots for another two minutes. 3. Add all remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to low. Cover pot, and cook, stirring contents occasionally, until all vegetables are tender, 1 hour. 4.  To thicken the sauce, right before vegetables are done, take a large frypan and melt 2 tbsps butter. 5.  Add about ¼ cup of red wine and 2 cloves of garlic crushed and chopped.  Reduce by half. 6. Add approx 3 tbsps of flour. Gently whisk the flour allowing it to brown slightly. 7.  With a ladle, slowly spoon some of the stock into the fry pan, whisking all the time.  Continue adding stock until you have the desired consistency.  Add this back into your stew. 8.  Season with fresh herbs, salt and pepper.  Serve as is or top with mashed potatoes to make a delicious vegetable shepherds pie.



Sandor Ellix Katz, author of 'Wild Fermentation", has a self-described "fermentation fetish" .  This kimchi recipe is based on his. Kimchi is a spicy Korean pickle, made in an impressive variety of styles.  It is prepared by fermenting Chinese Cabbage, radishes or turnips, scallions, other vegetables and often seafood, with ginger, hot red chili pepper, garlic and often fish sauce.

Ingredients 500 grams chinese cabbage 1 whole daikon radish or several red radishes 1 to 2 carrots 1 to 2 onions and/or leeks, bunch of scallions, or shallots 3-4 cloves of garlic 3-4 hot red chilies 3-4 tablespoons of fresh, grated ginger

Method 1.  Mix a brine of about 1 litre of water to 4 tablespoons of salt. Stir well to thoroughly dissolve salt.  The brine should taste good and salty. 2.Coarsely chop the cabbage, slice the radish and carrots, and let the vegetables soak in the brine, covered by a plate or other weight to keep the vegetables submerged, until soft, a few hours or overnight. 3.  Prepare spices: Grate the ginger; chop the garlic and onion; remove seeds from the chilies and chop or crush, or throw them in whole.  Kimchi can absorb a lot of spice.  Experiment with quantities and don't worry too much about them.  Mix spices into a paste. (If you wish you can add fish sauce to the paste.  Just check that it has no chemical preservatives which function to inhibit microorganisms.) 4.  Drain brine off vegetables, reserving brine.  Taste vegetables for saltiness. You want them to taste decidedly salty but not unpleasantly so.  If they are too salty, rinse them.  If you cannot taste salt, sprinkle them with a couple of teaspoons and mix thoroughly. 5. Mix vegetables with the chili, onion, garlic paste.  Mix everything together and stuff it into clean litre sized jars.  Pack it tightly in to the jars, pressing down until brine rises.  If necessary, add a little of the reserved vegetable-soaking brine to submerge the vegetables.  Weight the vegetables down with a small jar filled with brine. 6.  Ferment in your kitchen or other warm place.  Taste the kimchi every day.  After about a week of fermentation, when it tastes ripe, move it to the refrigerator.


Roasted Japanese Turnips and their Balsamic Greens

Here is a great recipe from Antoinette Sharp's "Cooking Spree" As she writes, "Turnips have never appeared solo in our house, but always as part of a roasted vegetable medley or a soup or stock. Wanting to keep this simple though, I roasted these pretty little things with a bit of olive oil, a scattering of thyme from the garden and flaky salt and white pepper. When they were done, they’d sit on a bed of turnip greens drizzled with balsamic."

Roasted Japanese Turnips and their Balsamic Greens


Individual Turnip Gratins with Toast Fingers

This recipe comes from "The Greens Cook Book" by Deborah Madison with Edward Espe Brown. These gratins can be slid onto a plate and served with toast fingers to soak up the cream.  The nutty flavour of the Gruyere and the savory thyme balance the sweetness of the turnips.  The turnip greens, which are slightly peppery, would also be good stewed in butter and served with the gratins.

Ingredients 1 1/2 pounds medium turnips Salt Pepper 1 1/2 tsps thyme leaves, chopped 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, grated 1 1/2 cups heavy cream 2 to 3 slices Country French Bread Chervil or thyme leaves to garnish

Method 1. Peel the turnips, and slice them into thin rounds.  Bring 3 to 4 quarts of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt, and cook the turnips for a minute to remove any bitterness.  Pour them into a colander to drain. 2. Preheat oven to 375F (230C). Butter shallow, round gratin dishes that are about 5-6 inches across.  Cover the bottom of each with an overlapping layer of turnips, and season with salt, freshly ground pepper and some of the thyme.Make a second layer of turnips and seasonings, ending with cheese.  Pour the cream over the top and bake. 3. Check after 15 minutes and baste some of the cream over the top if it has not yet begun to boil.  Remove gratins when most of the cream has been absorbed and there is a golden crust over the top, about 30 minutes in all.  Set them aside to cool for a few minutes. 4. Toast the bread and slice it into lengths about 1/2 inch wide. 5.  Slide a rubber spatula around the edge of each gratin, reaching across the bottom, then slide it out carefully onto a serving plate.  Garnish with the fresh herbs and the toast fingers.


Mashed Turnips and Potatoes With Turnip Greens

This is inspired by colcannon, an Irish mix of mashed potatoes and kale or cabbage. This lightened version is a mixture of two-thirds turnips and one-third potatoes, with the turnip greens stirred in at the end. Ingredients 2 bunches turnips with greens attached (1 3/4 to 2 pounds, including greens) 1 pound gold or white potatoes, peeled and quartered Salt to taste 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 leek, white and light green parts only, finely chopped 2/3 cup low-fat milk, or as needed Freshly ground pepper

Method 1. Cut away the greens from the turnips. Peel the turnips and quarter if they’re large; cut in half if they’re small. Stem the greens and wash in 2 changes of water. Discard the stems. 2. Combine the turnips and potatoes in a steamer set above 2 inches of boiling water. Steam until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the steamer and transfer to a bowl. Cover the bowl tightly and leave for 5 to 10 minutes so that the vegetables continue to steam and dry out. 3. Fill the bottom of the steamer with water and bring to a boil. Add salt to taste and add the greens. Blanch for 2 to 4 minutes, until tender. Transfer to a bowl of cold water using a slotted spoon or skimmer, then drain and squeeze out excess water. Chop fine. Drain the water from the saucepan, rinse and dry. 4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in the saucepan and add the leek and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until leeks are tender and translucent but not colored. Add the milk to the saucepan, bring to a simmer and remove from the heat. 5. Using a potato masher, a fork or a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, mash the potatoes and turnips while still hot. Add the turnip greens and combine well. Beat in the hot milk and the additional tablespoon of olive oil if desired, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, right away, or transfer to a buttered or oiled baking dish and heat through in a low oven when ready to serve.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish.

Advance preparation: You can make this several hours ahead and reheat as directed, or in a double boiler.

Recipe Credit: Martha Rose Shulman presents food that is vibrant and light, full of nutrients, fun to cook and to eat. (Found in the N.Y. Times)

Famous Fall Roots Soup

A trio of fall root vegetables — carrots, leeks, and a swede — forms the savory foundation of this soup. Puréed and enriched with crème fraîche, this potage, with its velvety, smooth texture and glorious orange hue, is always a hit — whether it’s a first course or the main attraction. Ingredients 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 2-1/2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (3 to 4 medium leeks) 1-1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and diced 1 medium swede (1 to 1-1/2 pounds), peeled and diced 8 cups chicken stock Kosher salt 1-1/4 cups crème fraîche 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Method 1. Heat butter in a large, heavy pot (with a lid) over medium-high heat. When melted and hot, add leeks, carrots, and swede. Sauté vegetables until softened, for 10 minutes or longer. Add stock and bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are very tender, for about 30 minutes. 2. Purée the soup in batches in a food processor, blender, or food mill, and return soup to the pot. (Or use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pot.) Whisk in 3/4 cup of the crème fraîche. Taste soup and season with salt, as needed. (The soup can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat.) 3. To serve, ladle soup into shallow soup bowls. Garnish each serving with a generous dollop of the remaining 1/2 cup crème fraîche and a sprinkling of parsley.

LYNNE’S TIPS • Rutabaga (Swede) is an often overlooked root vegetable member of the cabbage family. Its pale yellow flesh is slightly sweet. Choose ones with smooth skin and firm flesh that are heavy for their size. • A sliced yam added to this soup would bring out a sweet touch and play well with the rutabaga. • This soup can be made ahead and its flavor will only improve. • When you have time, try roasting the vegetables before cooking them into a soup. Toss the chopped vegetables with a little olive oil, spread them out on a shallow pan and roast at 425 degrees F until they begin to soften and caramelize. Flavors will be more intense.

Makes 8 servings.

Excerpted from Sunday Soup: A Year’s Worth of Mouthwatering, Easy-to-Make Recipes by Betty Rosbottom (Chronicle Books LLC). Copyright © 2008 by Betty Rosbottom.

Lamb Stew with Root Vegetables

Lamb stew cooked very slowly with root vegetables. Beautiful, tender, and rich. Ingredients 2 1/2 lb boneless lamb 2 medium onions 4 turnips 4 carrots 4 potatoes 2 tbsp olive oil 2 bay leaves bunch of fresh thyme 2 tbsp plain flour 1 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Method 1. Cut the lamb into 1 inch cubes. 2. Peel and chop the turnips, carrots and potatoes into small chunks. Peel and chop the onions. 3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and brown the meat. 4. Put all the vegetables plus the browned meat chunks and the salt and pepper into a Crock Pot. 5. Add 2 cups of water or stock if you have it and cook for 8-10 hours on low. 6. Mix the flour with 1/4 cup water to a paste, and turning up the heat add to the stew. Stir well until gravy thickens and stir in the parsley.