5 Slow-Cooked Vegetable Sides

One of our favorite ways to bridge the gap between winter and spring is with a bowl of mellow, creamy, soft-cooked vegetables. Broccoli rabe, celery, green beans, and other vegetables undergo a miraculous transformation when cooked for long periods of time in slow-simmering water: they turn sweet and luxurious, with an incomparably luscious texture. Here are 5 of our favorite recipes.
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Cime di Rapa Fritte
Notoriously bitter and tough, broccoli rabe becomes mellow and supple when cooked slowly in a bath of water and olive oil. Simply seasoned with garlic and chile flakes, this Italian home-cooking classic is true comfort food. See the recipe for Cime di Rapa Fritte »Todd Coleman
Sedano e Pomodori Brasati
This recipe, adapted from one in Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking (Alfred A. Knopf, 1992), produces results that are surprising from celery: creamy, sweet, luscious. The stalks' stringy fibers, often removed before cooking, here act as a brace to help the vegetable keep its shape through a long simmer. See the recipe for Sedano e Pomodori Brasati »Todd Coleman
Carrot Kari
Inspired by a recipe in Julie Sahni's Indian Regional Classics (Ten Speed Press, 2001), these carrots are stewed long enough to concentrate their sweetness; mustard seeds, curry leaves, and chiles provide warm and earthy notes. See the recipe for Carrot Kari »Todd Coleman
Olive Oil-Braised Vegetables
Based on a recipe from Traci Des Jardins, chef and co-owner of Jardiniere in San Francisco, this flavorful mix of broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and potatoes is braised in olive oil that's been infused with rosemary, chile flakes, lemon, and anchovies. See the recipe for Olive Oil-Braised Vegetables »Todd Coleman
Loubieh Wa Hommus Bi-Ziet
Slow-cooked vegetable dishes like this one, a cumin and paprika spiced stew of beans and tomatoes, are a standby in many parts of the Middle East. Here, tomatoes and green beans release some of their flavor into the cooking liquid, creating a rich broth. See the recipe for Loubieh Wa Hommus Bi-Ziet »Todd Coleman