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Provençal Vegetables

Provençal Vegetables
These vegetables are slowly braised in a shallow bath of olive oil, a traditional cooking technique in the Provence region of France, where olive groves flourish. The oil preserves the taste, color and nutrients of the vegetables (qualities that would be diluted by braising in stock or wine) and imparts a mellow, complementary flavor. Serve the vegetables alongside our Spit-Roasted Brined Pork Loin (see related recipe at left).

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil as needed
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 6 artichokes, trimmed, tough outer leaves
      removed and hearts quartered
  • 2 or 3 zucchini, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 2 or 3 summer squashes, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 2 or 3 shallots, peeled
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 1/2 lb. asparagus, trimmed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

In a large, wide fry pan over medium heat, pour in olive oil to a depth of 1/4 inch and heat until hot. Add the carrots and artichokes and stir until evenly coated with the oil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and gently braise the vegetables until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the zucchini, summer squashes, shallots, garlic and asparagus and stir to coat with the oil. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 13 to 15 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.

Transfer the vegetables to a platter and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.