Thursday, 21 February 2013

Vegetables braised in olive oil

Having not eaten meat now for over 40 years, I have no problem regarding a plateful of vegetables as a worthwhile meal. Vegetables have long since moved on from being the supporting act to a dressy piece of meat. Easy enough of course when runner beans or new potatoes and asparagus are in season. One of the finest ways I know of cooking vegetables is to braise them in a little stock and olive oil. It's a method that can be applied to any number of vegetables. This is the method I use to cook fresh or dried borlotti beans, a recipe that I shall post before too long, but for now this dish contains, flat beans, peppers, potatoes and frozen peas, along with onion, garlic and a tin of tomatoes.

This is what you do:

Begin by roughly chopping 4 cloves of garlic and gently fry them in a 1/2 cup of good olive oil. The garlic needs to take on a little colour but be careful not to overcook, beige is good, brown is not, black, well maybe you should start again. Fill a large ovenproof dish, I use my tarte Tatin dish, with vegetables cut up in chunks, in this case, onion, potatoes, green beans and yellow and red peppers. The quantities can vary but you want to end up with roughly 2 kilos of vegetables. Add some frozen peas to this mix, pour on a tin of tomatoes and fill the tin twice with hot water and add. In place of salt in this recipe as in many of  my recipes, I add a tablespoon of Marigold bouillon powder (vegetable stock) to the hot water to make a stock. sprinkle on 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper and finally pour on the olive oil and garlic. Place the dish in a moderate oven, 180C. Take the dish out of the oven after an hour, when the top should have taken on some colour, using a large spoon mix the vegetables up a little to bring vegetables on top from underneath. The colouring up of these vegetables from the heat of the oven will add flavour to the dish, so exposing more vegetables to the surface, produces more flavour. Cook for a further half hour. The dish is now ready  to serve, but I find leaving it overnight, the flavour develops and it is delicious served at room temperature. Resembling ratatouille, it's perfect with a piece of cheese flan but perfectly good served on its own with some crusty bread.

I should have used up some of the carrots!! what was I thinking?

1 comment:

  1. Indeed, a wasted chance to ingest more carrots ;). A fantastic and very simple recipe that can be used for every day and one that I am going to test out on Steve tonight. He is learning the value of home grown veggies and this recipe is going to be the icing on the proverbial vegetable cake :)