Stir-fried Spring Vegetables with Herbs de Provence
Produce sold in supermarkets is often transported across great distances and the result is that the produce gets stale and loses a lot of taste and nutritional value. Even if the produce actually looks good, it may not be fresh. Large scale producers (often multinational are involved here) over-fertilize, use GMO seeds and process their produce for it to look good and be easy to transport. This affects the taste of the vegetables negatively and the result is that a lot of people don’t quite enjoy eating vegetables. One great way of converting vegetable-haters into vegetable-lovers (or at the very least vegetable-tolerater) is to give them fresh, organic and locally produced vegetables. When I first came to the US some decades ago to attend graduate school, I was amazed by how perfectly shaped and beautiful the vegetables were to look at and how tasteless and bland they were to my taste buds! In recent years I have taken to either growing my vegetables (at least some of them during the summer months) or buying them at the farmer’s markets and the result is that my love of vegetables has returned. This is why I dislike the winters here and absolutely love the summer months! Every week during the warmer weather, I look forward to going to the local produce markets to see what goodies I can find. This morning I found some great Pattypan squash, heirloom round zucchini and I combined it with some Beech brown mushrooms. I tried these mushrooms for the first time today and they were delightful. They looked like little delicate umbrellas all bunched up together and they were delicious. When the vegetables are this fresh, I like to just sauté them with a bit of olive oil, a pat of butter, a few cloves of fresh garlic and some herbs or spices. Today I used a tiny bit of Herbs de Provence. These simply stir-fried local vegetables were outstanding!!!
1. 1 small round zucchini squash
2. 2 Pattypan squash
3. 3 cloves of fresh garlic
4. Salt and pepper to taste
5. One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
6. One tablespoon of unsalted butter
7. A teaspoon of herbs de Provence
8. One bunch of Beech mushrooms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypsizygus_tessellatus)
1. Wash the squash and then chop the stems off.
2. Slice the squash in bite sized pieces
3. Peel and slice the garlic.
4. In a heavy bottom sauté pan, pour the extra virgin olive oil and heat the pan on medium heat.
5. Add the sliced garlic cloves to the oil and let the garlic cook for about 30 seconds to a minute. Stir constantly.
6. Add the sliced chopped pieces of squash to the hot pan and stir everything.
7. Cook the squash for about 5-7 minutes.
8. Add salt and freshly grated pepper and stir.
9. Add the teaspoon of herbs de Provence and stir.
10. Chop of the bottom end of the bunch of mushrooms and separate the little mushrooms (do NOT wash them). Add the mushrooms to the pan and stir.
11. Cook for another minute or so (while stirring constantly). At a pat of butter at the very end and stir everything gently.
12. Serve while the vegetables are still hot. This makes a great tasting simple side dish with any grilled or roast meats.
What a delicious way to prepare fresh veggies! It looks amazing.
Thanks Rachel – it is a real simple yet delicious way to do veggies. This is my go-to recipe when I am in a hurry and it never fails me (especially when the veggies are fresh and from the local farmer’s market!). Do let me know if you try this or any other recipe of mine. I would really appreciate any feedback you may have!