A Spring Stew
But the reality is that it’s not yet warm, so why not blend winter and spring with a spring vegetable stew?
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1/4 pound thin white asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths
- one cup shelled fresh cranberry beans (4 ounces or 1 pound in the pod)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 20 thin scallions, white and pale green parts only
- 1/4 pound mushrooms
- 6 white turnips, about 2 inches in diameter, peeled and cut into wedges
- 2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch-long sticks
- 2 1/4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 6-ounce zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 romaine heart, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
- 1 tablespoon small parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon minced chives
And here’s how you make it:
- In a medium pot of simmering salted water, cook the asparagus over moderately high heat until tender, about four minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a bowl. Add the cranberry beans to the water and simmer over moderate heat until tender, about 40 minutes. Drain the beans and transfer to the bowl.
- Heat 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the scallions and cook over moderate heat until barely tender, about one minute. Transfer the scallions to the bowl with the asparagus. Add another 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil to the casserole. Add the mushrooms, season with salt, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring a few times, until lightly browned and tender, about three minutes. Add the mushrooms to the bowl.
- Heat the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil in the casserole. Add the turnips and carrots, season with salt and cook over moderate heat for one minute. Add one cup of the stock, cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add another 1/2 cup of the stock, cover and cook until the turnips and carrots are tender, about 10 minutes longer. Add the zucchini and 1/2 cup of the stock and simmer until the zucchini is just tender, about four minutes. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of stock to the casserole along with the lemon zest, lemon juice and lettuce and cook, stirring, until the lettuce just wilts, about 20 seconds. Stir in the crème fraîche.
- Add the asparagus, beans, scallions and mushrooms to the stew. Simmer briefly, until heated through, about 30 seconds. Add the parsley and chives and serve the stew in bowls with crusty French bread on the side.
It’s a fabulous compromise between spring not being quite here yet—and the delight of the produce department as spring colors start to appear! And of course at Bliss Shurfine Food Mart in Manchester, NY, we have everything you’ll need for this spring stew—and more. Why not come by and check us out today?