Makes 4 servings
For anyone who appreciates fine ingredients, takes pleasure in cooking, and enjoys the way cooking and eating engage our senses, this very simple dish will have extraordinary appeal. I find it a pleasure to tend the vegetables as they roast, turning them over gently in the warm olive oil and watching them soften, give up their sweet juices, and turn golden. It is a delight to toss the fresh basil leaves into the casserole and breathe in their heady aroma. And it is a treat to savor these vegetables, caramel brown, naturally sweet, and oven-tender. This is a family-and-friends dish, made more inviting when you set out a bottle of olive oil, a bowl of salt, and a few wedges of lemon and encourage everyone around the table to finish the dish to their own taste.
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
8 small turnips, peeled and trimmed
8 small to medium fingerling potatoes, washed
8 small carrots, peeled and trimmed
8 cipollini onions, peeled and trimmed
8 medium white mushrooms, stemmed and cleaned
8 medium pink radishes, washed, dried, and trimmed
2 to 3 stalks celery, peeled and cut
into eight 3-inch pieces
2 large cloves garlic, peeled
Bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 1 sprig thyme, and the reserved
basil stems-from below-tied together
with kitchen twine)
1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds, tied in cheesecloth
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1/2 cup Niçoise olives
1/2 bunch basil, washed, dried, and stems
and leaves separated (stems used
for the bouquet garni)
1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
Fleur de sel or lightly crushed coarse sea salt
Grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a shallow casserole or ovenproof sauté pan over medium heat. Add the turnips, potatoes, and carrots and cook, turning frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the vegetables take on a little color. Add the remaining oil, the onions, mushrooms, radishes, celery, garlic, bouquet garni, and coriander sachet. Season well with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for another 8 to 10 minutes, until the newly added vegetables are also lightly and evenly browned.
3. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for about 30 minutes, stirring two or three times durmg this period, until the vegetables test tender when pierced with a knife. Remove the pan from the oven, discard the garlic, bouquet garni, and coriander sachet, and stir in the olives and half the basil leaves.
Scatter the remaining basil leaves over the vegetables-don't stir them in-and bring the casserole to the table. Serve the oven-roasted vegetables and their cooking juices directly from the pan. Offer the lemon, fleur de sel or coarse salt, pepper, and olive oil at the table and, if desired, top each serving with some grated cheese.
A light, crisp, unoaked Chardonnay
Daniel Boulud's Café Boulud Cookbook
By Daniel Boulud and Dorie Greenspan
Scribner, November 1999
Recipe Reprinted by permission.
This page created November 1999
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