Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall Vegetable Stew

"A little sausage makes everything taste better," James said biting into our Italian sausage and vegetable stew. And he's right.
Our dinner was a simple -- almost slow cooked, medley of favorite root vegetables -- another recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart Living. I can't help it, it looked good in the magazine.
First I browned chunks of sausage in olive oil, then I set the sausage aside and browned peeled cipollini onions for about 5 minutes. To the browned onions I added chopped tomatoes, chicken stock and a nice sized bunch of fresh oregano and rosemary. That simmered over medium heat for about 25 minutes. Next came celery (the recipe called for fennel but I just don't like it --too licoricey for me), carrots, parsnips, cubes of butternut squash, and because I was short on butternut a peeled and cubed sweet potato. I wouldn't add sweet potato if I made this recipe again -- it's delicious but doesn't hold it's shape when cooked and gave a bit more mush to the texture than I wanted. I let that mixture simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or so and then added trimmed and halved brussels sprouts, then covered and cooked for 5 minutes more. To finish the stew I uncovered the pot and let the sauce cook down, simmering for about 15 more minutes, swirled in a pat of butter, and served with a plate of crispy cheese toasts.
A perfect fall dinner.

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