Saturday, August 07, 2010

Shell Beans and Summer Vegetables Stewed in Their Own Juices

Today's recipe is from Deborah Madison's Local Flavors, my workhorse cookbook for cooking from the CSA and farmer's market.  The recipe is the most used of all the rest in the book... I don't follow it too closely--I throw in what I have, and if something is missing or substituted, that's fine.  That said, definitely don't skip the basil puree!

Shell beans and Summer Vegetables Stewed in their own Juices:

  • T oil (sunflower or olive oil (save 3 T for Basil Puree))
  • 2 bay leaves
  • onions (chopped into large pieces)
  • cloves garlic (plump, peeled and halved (1 clove set aside for Basil Puree))
  • thyme sprigs (fresh)
  • sage leaves
  • 12  small carrots (3-5")
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3⁄4 lb new potatoes (small)
  • 1⁄2 lb beans (yellow wax or green, ends trimmed)
  • tomatoes (medium, peeled, seeded and chopped into large pieces, juice reserved)
  • 1 bell pepper (yellow or orange if possible, cut into 1-inch strips)
  • lb summer squash (cut into large pieces)
  • lb shelling peas (shelled)
  • 1⁄2 c basil leaves (packed)
  • 1⁄2 c parmesan cheese (grated, optional)

1 . Warm the 3 T. oil with the bay leaves in a large casserole or dutch oven over low heat. When fragrant, add the onions, 6 of the garlic cloves, 2 of the thyme sprigs, and the sage. Cover and cook while you prepare the vegetables.
2 . Leave small carrots whole or cut fat ones into 4-inch lengths. Add them to the pot right away since they take the longest to cook. Season with salt and pepper. If the potatoes are like large marbles, leave them whole. But quarter large ones and cut fingerlings in half lengthwise. Lay the potatoes on top of the onions and carrots. Cut the beans into 3-inch pieces and add them, along with the rest of the veggies except the shelling beans, to the pot, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper.
3 . Strain the tomato juice over all, than cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes to an hour. If tightly covered, the vegetables will produce plenty of flavorful juices. If the pot seems dry, add a few tablespoons water or white wine.
4 . While the veggies are cooking, simmer the shell beans in water to cover with the remaining garlic and thyme and a little oil. When tender, after 30-45 minutes, season with salt and pepper. Add the beans, with any liquid, to the pot.
5 . Make the Basil Puree shortly before serving: Chop the basil and garlic in a food processor with the oil and enough water to make a puree. Stir in the cheese .
6 . Serve the veggies in soup plates and spoon the Basil Puree over them.



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