Braised Young Vegetables

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Ingredients

  • 1 medium beet
  • olive oil
  • 2 s rich meat or vegetable stock
  • 4 zucchini (4 in. long) with flowers
  • 12 baby or 8 small potatoes
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 8 baby carrots, peeled
  • 4 baby white onions, peeled
  • 5 oz. mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
  • 1 1/2 s shelled green peas
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Scrub and trim beet, and cut into 4 pieces. In small saucepan, saute beet in dab of olive oil 1 to 2 minutes, season with salt, and add 1/2 cup of stock. Cover and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove zucchini flowers, cut in halves or quarters lengthwise, and set aside. Wash zucchini. Scrub potatoes and cut in half. Cut celery into 4-inch lengths. Put 1 tablespoon olive oil in wide cast-iron pot and set over medium-high heat. Cook potatoes first, cut side down, to give them some color. Add celery, carrots, and onions. Lower heat to medium, cover pot, and sweat the vegetables without coloring for several minutes. Season with salt, moisten with ladleful of stock, and continue to cook, covered.
As liquid cooks away, keep adding stock. Meanwhile, cut any large mushrooms in half. Heat small amount of olive oil in pan and saute mushrooms over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
When vegetables are just beginning to be tender, add zucchini, placing on bottom of pot. Cook until just tender. Add peas and zucchini flowers and cook a few minutes more. Set mushrooms back over medium-high heat a few minutes to color them, and then add to pot with rest of the vegetables. Season with trickle of olive oil, pinch of salt, and several turns of pepper mill. Cover and cook 2 minutes more. Just before serving, place pieces of beet on top.

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