Today on Good Food, Laura Avery talks to Amelia Saltsman, author of The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook, about her quick and easy recipe for a one pot meal full of Farmers Market ingredients. Keep reading for Amelia’s basic recipe instructions as well as flavor suggestions including a Japanese inspired meal or a rustic French one pot wonder…
For a light and fast winter dinner ready in under 30 minutes, I layer all the elements—broth, protein, and vegetables—in one pot. Use the formula below and vary the ingredients according to your mood and what’s available at the farmers’ market. When you shop, think about color, textures, flavorings (ginger! herbs!), how much time it will take to prep an ingredient (for example, snap peas versus artichokes), and how quickly it will cook. And, edit yourself; a few compatible ingredients are enough to make a great meal and keep work time short.
Here are the basic steps and a couple of my recent flavor combos:
- Sauté aromatics such as chopped onions with a little salt for about 5 minutes in a bit of oil (e.g. olive, avocado, grapeseed) in a wide pot over medium heat. Just the equivalent of 2 to 3 teaspoons healthy fat is plenty. Add flavoring ingredients (eg, chopped ginger, garlic, herbs, any spices if using) and any vegetables that will take 10 to 15 minutes to cook (eg potatoes, carrots, winter squash, fennel, turnips, radishes, Swiss chard, bok choy, mushrooms). Bite-size pieces are a good guideline for quick cooking.
- Simmer. Add liquid of choice to come half-way up contents in pot. Dashi, chicken, vegetable, or beef stock, or water are fine. Simmer covered until vegetables are almost tender, about 10 minutes.
- Poach. Stir in quick-cooking vegetables (eg napa cabbage, snap peas) into pot and add protein of choice (fish, shellfish, tofu). Spoon a bit of liquid over, cover pot, and simmer until protein is cooked through, usually about 5 minutes. Note: if you’re using fish with the skin on, you’ll need to crisp the skin in the first step before sautéing onions. Simply season with salt and pepper, and cook skin side down in the bit of oil for about 3 minutes. Remove to a plate until it’s time for the poaching step. Add to pot skin-side up.
- Finish with a jolt of acid—lemon or lime juice, rice or sherry vinegar—to brighten the dish. Season with salt, some sort of ground pepper (black, red, white) if desired.
A nice Japanese-style version to serve four: 3 or 4 each spring onions and green garlic; a walnut-size piece of fresh ginger; 2 or 3 mild turnips (golden or Tokyo white are best for this) and a handful of tiny radishes (all-white are nice); a small winter squash; a few shiitake; baby bok choy or ¼ to ½ a Napa cabbage; ¾ to 1 pound salmon fillets cut in 4 pieces or ½ pound cubed silken or regular soft tofu; dashi, chicken stock, or water; seasoned rice vinegar.
A nice rustic French version for four: 1 onion or 1 or 2 leeks; teeny or cubed larger potatoes (about ¾ pound is plenty); 3 or 4 carrots (red are beautiful here); 1 or 2 fennel bulbs; thyme sprigs; a handful of tiny hedgehog, black trumpet, or chanterelle mushrooms; halibut or monkfish cut in 2-inch chunks; savoy cabbage or other quick-cooking green (I used salty, nutty minutina from Windrose Farms); chicken stock; fresh lemon.