Braised Vegetables

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braised vegetables

This is one of my go to recipes and I cook it at least once a week, often more. When I get ready to cook a meal, this is the first thing I get ready. I prep the veggies, then cover the pan and move on to my main dish, knowing this is ready to go. Then when my main dish is 10-15 minutes away from being ready, I just turn on the heat under it and it does the rest. Often I turn it on as I go to take my meat off the grill and then it can cook while the meat rests or the sauce cooks if I’m making one. Be sure and start with a good vegetable to begin with and then know that this preparation will highlight its healthy flavors.

Braised Vegetables
serves 2-3
1 vegetable of choice (1 bunch of carrots or green beans or broccolini)
water (about 1/4 cup)
olive oil (2-3 tablespoons)
salt and pepper

1. Cut carrots in half or quarters so they’re the same approximate size, stem beans or cut tough ends of broccolini.

2. Place vegetables in a 9″ or 10″ cast iron pan or similar saute pan so they form one layer, cut edges facing down. Put a generous splash of water (just over 1/4 cup) in the pan so it just barely covers the bottom. Pour a generous drizzle of olive oil over the vegetables (about 2 tablespoons) and top with salt and pepper to taste-about 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few good grinds of pepper. Put a cover on the pan.

3. Grill your meat or cook your fish and when you’re about 10-15 minutes away from being ready, turn the heat on to medium/high. Cook, covered, until the water boils away and then reduce heat to ¬†medium-medium/low for another 5 minutes or so until the vegetables get a chance to caramelize. Keep covered until your vegetables feel tender, but not soggy. If you still have water in your pan and the vegetables feel tender, take the lid off, turn the heat up and cook until the water is gone, then turn the heat down so the vegetables cook in the oil a bit to caramelize-this last step adds a nice layer of flavor, so don’t skip it.

4. Taste to be sure they’re done and serve with your delicious entree! Some variations are to add onion to the pan first and cook slowly in olive oil until a bit caramelized, then add your vegetable, water and carry on as above. I do it this way when I cook kale or chard. You can also add currants or raisins if you like.

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