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Categories: Main courses, Vegetables

Mixed spring vegetable ragout

Mixed spring vegetable ragout
Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Long ago, back in the dawn of human prehistory (or so I imagine), people made the discovery that separates us from rabbits. And if you, in this just-arrived season of sweet, tender, bursting-with-flavor baby vegetables, can be just a tiny ... Read more

Total time: 50 minutes | Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 to 8 as a side dish
  • 1 pound fava beans
  • 6 ounces English peas, shelled ( 1/2 cup shelled)
  • 1/2 cup baby asparagus tips
  • 8 baby carrots
  • 8 baby turnips
  • 16 baby fennel
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 cup veal stock

Step 1Remove the fava beans from the pods. Blanch the beans in lightly salted boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain, reserving the water. Plunge the beans into cold water, then remove outer skins and set the beans aside.

Step 2Blanch the peas for 30 seconds in the same water. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain, again reserving the water. Plunge into cold water, drain and set aside.

Step 3Blanch the asparagus tips in the same water for 30 seconds; plunge into cold water, drain and set aside, reserving the cooking water.

Step 4Trim the tops and stems from the carrots, leaving about one-fourth inch of stem. Scrub the carrots with a brush. Cut them in half lengthwise and set aside. Trim the tops from the turnips. Quarter the turnips and set aside. Trim the tops from the fennel and set aside. Chop a portion of the frond to get 1 tablespoon chopped fennel for garnish. Reserve.

Step 5Blanch the carrot halves in the same pot of boiling salted water just until tender, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Blanch the turnips in the same water just until tender, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Blanch the fennel in the same water 3 minutes, or until tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Step 6Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the blanched vegetables except for the asparagus tips. Season with salt and pepper and cook 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 7Add the veal stock, cover and simmer over low heat until the vegetables are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the aspargus tips during the last 2 to 3 minutes cooking time. Stir in the reserved chopped fennel and serve.

Each of 8 servings:
232 calories; 12 grams protein; 31 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 10 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 23 mg. cholesterol; 362 mg. sodium.
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