Gar­den Va­ri­ety

Richly fla­vored stocks and broths are not only about col­la­gen and bones


scraps may come to mind when you’re piec­ing to­gether a veg­etable stock—what­ever is left on the cut­ting board is of­ten thrown in a pot and sim­mered to murky re­sults. But while writ­ing my book Mas­ter­ing Stocks and Broths, I found a more pre­cise ap­proach made for bet­ter stock. Re­mov­ing mois­ture from veg­eta­bles be­fore sim­mer­ing made them far more im­pact­ful. Roast­ing, for ex­am­ple, in­ten­si­fies mush­rooms’ earthy fla­vor. De­hy­drat­ing brings out a pun­gent sweet­ness in win­ter squash. Ag­ing and fer­ment­ing, as in black gar­lic, lends umami and ta­marind-like com­plex­ity. Try the unique fla­vor of th­ese stocks in soups and sauces.

1. Roasted Mush­room Stock MAKES 12 CUPS To­tal: 2 hr. 30 min.

Pre­heat the oven to 375°F. In a bowl, toss 1½ lb. mixed mush­rooms (prefer­ably darker va­ri­eties such as crem­ini); 1 lb. cleaned leeks; ½ lb. each diced white onion, car­rot, and parsnip; and ½ diced fen­nel bulb with 3 Tbsp. grape­seed oil. Roast on 2 bak­ing sheets for 1 hour, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally. Transfer to a pot and add 1 Tbsp. dry ver­mouth, 12 cups cold wa­ter, 2 sprigs mar­jo­ram, 4 sprigs pars­ley, 12 black pep­per­corns, and 2 bay leaves; sim­mer, skim­ming oc­ca­sion­ally, 1 hour. Let rest 10 min­utes, then la­dle through cheese­cloth, dis­card­ing any solids and the cloudy liq­uid at the bot­tom of the pot.

2. Win­ter Squash Stock MAKES 8 CUPS To­tal: 10 hr.

Slice 3 lb. win­ter squash, leav­ing the seeds in­tact; toss with 2 Tbsp. grape­seed oil. In a de­hy­dra­tor or oven on a lined bak­ing sheet, heat at 150°–170°F, turn­ing once, un­til dried, 8–10 hours. In a pot, heat ¼ cup grape­seed oil over medium heat. Add 1 lb. each diced cleaned leeks and car­rots, ½ lb. diced white onion, ½ diced fen­nel bulb, and ½ head gar­lic; cook, stir­ring, un­til soft­ened, 7 min­utes. Add 2 sprigs thyme, 8 pep­per­corns, a bay leaf, and enough cold wa­ter just to cover; sim­mer, skim­ming, for 45 min­utes. Let rest 10 min­utes, then la­dle through cheese­cloth, dis­card­ing any solids.

3. Black (Aged) Gar­lic Stock MAKES 8 CUPS To­tal: 2 hr.

Sep­a­rate the skin and cloves from 3 heads of black gar­lic. In a bowl, toss ½ lb. each diced white onion and cleaned leeks, ¼ lb. diced parsnips, and ½ diced fen­nel bulb with 3 Tbsp. olive oil. Spread onto 2 bak­ing sheets and roast at 350°F, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, for 45 min­utes. Transfer to a stock pot with 2 sprigs each thyme and pars­ley, 1 bay leaf, the cloves and peel from the black gar­lic, and just enough wa­ter to cover. Sim­mer, skim­ming oc­ca­sion­ally, for 45 min­utes. Rest 10 min­utes, then strain through cheese­cloth, dis­card­ing any solids. Taste and add up to 1 tsp. soy sauce and some sea salt if needed.

Veg­etable stocks have a short shelf life; with­out an­i­mal col­la­gen, there is lit­tle to bind the essences cap­tured within. Use within 2 days, or freeze as needed. 3

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