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Category: Vegetables

Legumes de saison

Legumes de saison
Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times

We live in a time of outrageously beautiful food, when our Instagram feeds routinely show the latest garden on a plate from kitchens in Copenhagen or Mugaritz, when lunch at the corner restaurant can mean the chef’s market haul translated ... Read more

Total time: About 10 hours | Serves 8
Note: Adapted from a recipe by chef Tony Esnault of Spring Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. For the dried fennel stem in the chestnut sub-recipe, place a fennel stem in a dehydrator overnight or until completely dried.

Vegetable stock

  • 2 large carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 leek, halved and washed
  • 1 head garlic, halved
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1 ½ gallons water

Step 1Coarsely chop the carrots, celery and leek, and place in a large pot with the water. Add the garlic, bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Strain and set aside. This makes about 1 gallon vegetable stock.

Sunchokes

  • 6 sunchokes
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
  • 1 tablespoon butter, finely-diced, or as desired
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or as desired
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 sprigs thyme

Step 1Heat the oven to 500 degrees.

Step 2Wash the sunchokes using a soft brush to remove all dirt, then cut into bite-sized pieces.

Step 3Heat a saute pan just large enough to hold the sunchoke pieces comfortably in a single layer over medium-high heat until hot, then add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the butter.

Step 4Once the butter is melted and golden, add the sunchokes and season with salt, stirring until the pieces are evenly coated with fat and seasoning.

Step 5Place the pan, uncovered, in the oven and cook until the sunchokes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes; they should be as soft as a marshmallow when pierced and golden-brown. Stir the pieces every 5 to 8 minutes for even roasting.

Step 6Remove from heat and set aside.

Celery

  • Salt, As needed
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 pinch baking soda

Step 1Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Meanwhile, peel the outer fibrous part of the celery and cut the stalk crosswise into “U”-shaped pieces.

Step 2Add the baking soda to the water, then the celery. Blanch the celery until tender, about 1 minute, then strain and shock in the ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

Celeriac

  • 1 celeriac (celery root)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
  • 1 tablespoon butter, finely diced, or as desired
  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt, or to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup Vegetable Stock, or as needed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • Salt, as desired

Step 1Clean the celeriac and remove the tough outer skin with a knife. Cut the root into bite-size (1-inch) pieces.

Step 2Heat a sauté pan just large enough to hold the celeriac pieces comfortably in a single layer over medium heat, then add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the butter.

Step 3Add the celeriac and season with celery salt. Add the garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, and making sure the celeriac doesn’t color.

Step 4Add enough stock and lemon juice to cover the celeriac, then cover with a lid and cook over medium heat until the celeriac is almost tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 5Remove the lid and add the thyme. Continue cooking until the liquid is reduced to a syrup-like consistency that coats the celeriac, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt if needed.

Kohlrabi

  • 1 large kohlrabi
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or as desired
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 sprigs of thyme

Step 1Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, peel the kohlrabi and cut it into eighths.

Step 2Heat a sauté pan just large enough to hold the kohlrabi comfortably in a single layer over medium-high heat until hot, then add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

Step 3Add the kohlrabi and garlic, season with salt and cover with a lid.

Step 4Place the pan in the oven and cook until the kohlrabi is fork tender. Add the thyme and toss for a couple of minutes to marry the flavors, then remove the kohlrabi and set aside.

Chestnut

  • 8 whole chestnuts
  • Grape seed, canola or vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
  • 1 tablespoon butter, finely diced, or as desired
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or as desired
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 dried fennel stem
  • 1 cup Vegetable Stock, or as needed
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 2 sprigs thyme

Step 1Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2Fill a large, heavy-bottom pot with enough grape seed oil to come up the sides by three inches. Heat the oil until a thermometer inserted reaches 350 degrees.

Step 3Meanwhile, peel the chestnuts: Using a razor blade or sharp knife, score the chestnuts with an X on the flat side of the shell. Deep-fry the chestnuts until the shells are darkened and the shells begin to curl where they have been scored, about 30 seconds. Strain the chestnuts to another heavy pan fitted with a lid. Set the chestnuts aside to steam for about 5 minutes, then remove the shells and outer skins from the chestnuts (rubbing the chestnuts in a towel will also help remove the skins).

Step 4Heat a sauté pan just large enough to hold the chestnuts comfortably in a single layer over medium heat, then add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the butter.

Step 5Once the butter is melted and golden, add the chestnuts and season with salt and sugar, stirring until the pieces are evenly coated with fat and seasoning. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chestnuts are golden-brown on all sides.

Step 6Add the stock to the pan, as well as garlic, star anise and dried fennel stem. Bring the stock to a boil.

Step 7Remove the pan from heat, cover it with a lid and place it in the oven. When the chestnuts are nearing fork tenderness, remove the lid, add the thyme and finish cooking until the chestnuts are tender and the liquid is reduced to a glaze. Remove from heat and set aside.

Rutabaga

  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or as desired
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 sprigs of thyme

Step 1Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2Heat a sauté pan just large enough to hold the rutabaga comfortably in a single layer over medium heat, then add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

Step 3Add the rutabaga, season with salt and cover the pan with a lid. Place the pan in the oven and cook until the rutabaga is tender, 16 to 20 minutes. Halfway through roasting, add the garlic.

Step 4When the rutabaga is tender, add the thyme and toss for a couple of minutes to marry the flavors. Remove the rutabaga and set it aside.

Carrots

  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or as desired
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar, or as desired
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 sprig thyme

Step 1Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2Heat a sauté pan just large enough to hold the carrots comfortably in a single layer over medium heat, then add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

Step 3Add the carrots, season with salt and sugar and stir until the carrots are evenly coated with oil, cooking until the oil begins to take on an orange tint, about 3 minutes. Cover the pan with a lid, and place the pan in the oven.

Step 4When the carrots are almost tender, stir in the garlic and thyme and continue to cook a couple of minutes to marry the flavors. Remove the carrots and set aside.

Watermelon radish

  • 2 watermelon radishes
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or as desired
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 tablespoons verjus

Step 1Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel and quarter the radishes.

Step 2Heat a sauté pan just large enough to hold the radishes comfortably in a single layer over medium heat, then add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

Step 3Add the watermelon radish and stir until evenly coated with oil. Season with the salt and sugar. Place the pan, uncovered, in the oven to roast the radishes.

Step 4When the radishes are almost fork tender, return the pan to the stove. Add the garlic, thyme and verjus. Cook over medium heat until the liquid is mostly evaporated and thickened to a glaze, coating the radishes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Yellow baby beets

  • 2 yellow baby beets
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or as desired
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 sprigs thyme

Step 1Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel and quarter the beets.

Step 2Heat a sauté pan just large enough to hold the radishes comfortably in a single layer over medium heat, then add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

Step 3Add the beets and salt and cook, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes, then place the pan in the oven.

Step 4Roast the beets until fork tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Halfway through roasting, add the garlic. When the beets are almost done, add the thyme and cover the pan to steam the beets until completely tender.

Red cabbage

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 outer red cabbage leaves, stemmed and cut into bite-size squares
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or as desired
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons verjus
  • ¼ cup vegetable stock

Step 1Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the oil and sweat the ginger and garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cabbage and season with salt and sugar.

Step 3Once the cabbage is softened, add the verjus and stock. Place the pan in the oven and cook until the cabbage is tender with a slight bite, and the liquid is absorbed or evaporated. Remove from heat and set aside.

Savoy cabbage

  • Salt, for seasoning blanching water
  • 3 outer Savoy cabbage leaves, stemmed and cut into bite-size squares
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

Step 1Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath.

Step 2Add the baking soda to the water, then the cabbage. Blanch the cabbage until tender, about 1 minute, then strain and shock in the ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

Easter egg radish

  • 4 red Easter egg radishes
  • ½ cup verjus
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or as desired
  • ½ teaspoon sugar, or as desired

Step 1Peel the radishes until there is only white, saving the peels.

Step 2Place the peels in a small saucepan, then cover with water and add the verjus, garlic and thyme and bring to a boil. Season with salt and sugar.

Step 3Once the stock is colored a bright red, strain it into a sauté pan large enough to hold the radishes comfortably in a single layer. Add the radishes and bring to a boil. Simmer the radishes until they are fork tender and bright red, and the cooking liquid reduces to a syrup that coats the radishes. (If the stock reduces too quickly before the radishes are done, add additional water as needed.)

Step 4Cool the radishes, then halve each one. Set aside.

Red swiss chard

  • 3 Swiss chard leaves
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon verjus
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Vegetable stock, as needed
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 sprig thyme

Step 1Wash the chard and remove the leaves from the stems (save the leaves for another use). Peel the outer skin from each stem and slice the stems, on the bias, into diamond shapes, saving the stem peelings and trimmings.

Step 2Combine the chard peelings and trimmings, along with the sugar, verjus and salt in a saucepan. Add enough stock just until it covers the trimmings. Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.

Step 3Strain the stock, discarding the trimmings, and place in a clean saucepan. Bring the stock to a simmer. Cook the chard in the liquid until it is tender, then add the butter and thyme. Cook until the liquid is reduced to a glaze that coats the vegetables. Remove from heat, taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary, then set aside.

Yellow cauliflower

  • 1 small head yellow cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or as desired, divided

Step 1Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the cauliflower into bite-size florets.

Step 2Heat a sauté pan just large enough to hold the cauliflower comfortably in a single layer over medium-high heat, then add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the oil, then place the cauliflower in the pan, flat pieces facing the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle over the remaining salt.

Step 3Cover the pan with a lid and roast the cauliflower in the oven until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool with the lid on.

Purple cauliflower

  • 1 small head purple cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or as desired, divided

Step 1Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the cauliflower into bite-size florets.

Step 2Heat a sauté pan just large enough to hold the cauliflower comfortably in a single layer over medium-high heat, then add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the oil, then place the cauliflower in the pan, flat pieces facing the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle over the remaining salt.

Step 3Cover the pan with a lid and roast the cauliflower in the oven until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool with the lid on.

Butternut squash

  • ½ small butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or as desired
  • Black pepper

Step 1Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel, seed and cut the butternut squash into bite-size pieces.

Step 2Heat a sauté pan just large enough to hold the squash comfortably in a single layer over medium-high heat, then add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the squash and season with the salt.

Step 3Cover the pan with a lid and roast the squash in the oven until tender, about 15 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as desired. Set aside.

Baby turnips

  • Salt, for seasoning blanching water
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 baby or Tokyo turnips, halved

Step 1Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath.

Step 2Add the baking soda to the water, then the turnips. Blanch the turnips until tender, 6 to 8 minutes, then strain and shock in the ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

Vegetable jus vinaigrette

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped carrots
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped onion
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped celery
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fennel
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped leek, white part only
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped cabbage
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped celeriac
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped kohlrabi
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped turnip
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • Vegetable stock
  • Sherry vinegar, as needed

Step 1Heat a large, heavy-bottom saucepan over low heat and add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pot. Add the butter. When the butter is melted (make sure it does not brown), add the carrots, onion, celery, fennel, leek, cabbage, celeriac, kohlrabi and turnip. Sweat the vegetables until they are softened, at least 20 minutes.

Step 2Add the thyme and enough stock to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain, discarding the solids.

Step 3Continue cooking the broth until it is reduced to a glaze. Remove from heat, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons vinegar, or as desired, then finish with a little extra olive oil. Set aside.

Shaved vegetables

  • 1 carrot
  • 1 watermelon radish
  • 1 black radish
  • 1 to 2 yellow baby beets
  • 1 breakfast radish

Step 1Shave the carrot, radishes and beets crosswise into very thin coins. Set aside in an ice bath until ready to garnish each serving.

Legumes de saison

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Butter
  • Prepared Easter egg radish
  • Prepared watermelon radish
  • Prepared red cabbage
  • Prepared red Swiss chard
  • Vegetable stock
  • Prepared sunchokes
  • Prepared celery
  • Prepared celeriac
  • Prepared kohlrabi
  • Prepared chestnuts
  • Prepared rutabaga
  • Prepared carrots
  • Prepared yellow baby beets
  • Prepared Savoy cabbage
  • Prepared yellow cauliflower
  • Prepared purple cauliflower
  • Prepared butternut squash
  • Prepared baby turnips
  • Prepared vegetable jus vinaigrette
  • Prepared shaved vegetables, for garnish
  • 24 celery leaves, from the celery hearts only
  • Navette oil (turnip seed oil), or a nut oil, optional
  • Borage flowers, optional

Step 1Heat a medium saute pan over medium-low heat. Add enough oil to cover the bottom and melt a tablespoon or two of butter. Add the radishes, red cabbage and chard, allong with enough vegetable stock to steam, and gently heat the vegetables until warmed through. Separately, reheat all of the remaining cooked vegetables together the same way.

Step 2Reheat the vegetable jus vinaigrette.

Step 3Drain and spin all the shaved vegetables in a small salad spinner.

Step 4In eight warm bowls “dispose with harmony” all the vegetables, drizzle the jus vinaigrette over them and finish with the shaved vegetables. Garnish with celery leaves, a drizzle of navette or nut oil, if using, and the borage flowers, if using. Serve immediately.

Each serving:
Calories 562; Protein 5 grams; Carbohydrates 33 grams; Fiber 7 grams; Fat 47 grams; Saturated fat 12 grams; Cholesterol 32 mg; Sugar 14 grams; Sodium 1,211 mg.
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