Butter Braised Rutabagas

1 rutabaga, peeled and cubed into half inch pieces
Salt and fresh pepper
3 tablespoons butter or sunflower oil (more for the big honker rutabagas)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon thyme
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
about a half cup bread crumbs browned in butter or oil

Boil the rutabagas until beginning to soften but not soft, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter foams, add the rutabaga and stir until brown. Toss with herbs and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with bread crumbs.

This is a great preparation for turnips too!

Peel the squash (optional), cut off the ends and halve. Cut into slices about a third of an inch thick. Heat the oil in a wide skillet and add the squash, frying over medium heat until beginning to brown (7-8 minutes). Turn and cook on the second side until tender. Add salt, pepper, parsley and cumin and toss to coat.

Broccoli with Spicy Balsamic and Black Olives

1 pound broccoli
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt
12-15 black olives, kalamata are nice, I’m partial to the oil cured ones.

Separate the broccoli florets into bite size pieces and peel and chop the stalks (they are really good). Steam for 4-5 minutes with the steamer lid slightly off. They will still have some crunch when done. While the broccoli is cooking, wisk the vinegars, garlic, and hot red pepper together in a small bowl. Wisk in the oil slowly until the mixture is smooth and even. Add salt. Pit and chop the olives. When the broccoli is finished, toss everything together and serve.

CABBAGE AND APPLE SLAW WITH BUTTER-TOASTED PECANS

1/2 apple (something sour, like Granny Smith)
1/2 small head cabbage
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup pecans
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Cut apple into 1/2-inch cubes and very thinly slice enough cabbage to measure 3 cups. In a bowl toss together apple, cabbage, lemon juice, and salt to taste.

Let sit for at least 30 minutes to let the lemon juice work its magic.
Chop pecans. In a small skillet toast pecans in butter over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. Sprinkle sugar and salt to taste over pecans and cook, stirring frequently, until pecans are coated, about 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat and cool pecans slightly. Add pecans with butter in skillet and chives to cabbage mixture and toss to combine well. Season slaw with salt.

Basic Mirepoix

2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot
2 table spoons butter
salt and fresh pepper
fresh herbs coarsely chopped parsley, thyme, and marjoram and favorites.

Heat a large skillet of sauteed pan over medium heat. Once hot, add butter. Once melted add remaining ingredients and sauteed gently over medium heat until the vegetable soften.

Water can be added to this to form a simple stock. Try starting your favorite soups, stews and casseroles with this base, adding ingredients to the finished mirepoix. A mirepoix is used either to season stews, soups, sauces, and fricasses or as a base for braising meats or fish. In this recipe, mirepoix refers to equal parts of finely diced carrot, onion, and celery.