Winter vegetable stew/pie

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
5 garlic cloves -- finely

: Stock-----

½ c dried vegetable soup mix 3 c slightly aged chopped white : mushrooms

3 c water

: Stew-----

½ rutabaga -- halved then : thinly s

1 c white mushrooms -- slightly : aged, halve

6 sm shitake -- coarsely

: chopped

1 TB olive oil

: salt and pepper to taste : chopped

½ c dry sherry

1 md yellow onion -- cut into

: lg piece

1 md carrot -- peeled, ½"

: slices

2 md russet potatos -- in ½ of ½ " slice

1 md fennel bulb -- quartered, : in ½" s

2 TB fresh thyme -- chopped or 2 : ts dri

2 TB fresh marjoram -- chopped : or 2 tsp dri

2 TB fresh parsley -- chopped or 2 ts dri

This began last night as an effort to make the Winter Vegetable Pie recipe in the _Fields of Greens_ cookbook just acquired (and thanks to those who sent advice on the book last month). As usual, however, we varied a great deal, so the result is greatly different from the book's--but was wonderful. We realized that the recipe started with "Mushroom stock," which would take 3 hours to make. Since it was already 7 in the evening, that was out. The celery root we thought was in the vegetable bin was a rutabaga; we had six shitake to use up. So we improvised: Stock: Gently simmer, until reduced to about 2 cups liquid.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet; add the mushrooms, pinch of salt, 2 or 3 grinds of pepper. Sear the mushrooms over high heat until golden. Add half the garlic and deglaze the pan with half the sherry. When the pan is almost dry, transfer the mushrooms to a bowl. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in stew pot and add the onion, pinch of salt, 2 grinds of pepper; saute until onion is transparent. Add the remaining garlic, rutabaga, carrot, potatos, and fennel, saute for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, herbs, and the reduced stock. Cover and simmer until vegetables are soft and flavors melded, about 30 minutes over medium/medium low heat. Serve over grain, pasta, or polenta (we used a mixed spiral spinach pasta and basmati rice left over from previous meals), with crusty bread, bread sticks, or pretzels. The _Fields of Greens_ book takes its mixture, pours it into a 9 inch round baking dish, then covers it with a white pastry cover, with an egg wash on it (there goes the vegan listing!), then bakes in 375 degree oven for 40 minutes. Our variation worked well; we ate at about 8:45 (which is fairly normal for us), a rich and warming stew with the temperature outside at -5, wind chill -37. We'll try some different root vegetables next time, and perhaps add tofu slices as well.

Recipe By : Fields of Greens

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