Low and slow isn’t just for meat

 romano beans

We all have our favorite long-cooked stews and braises that transform tough cuts of meat into silky, lush dishes. We shouldn’t save this technique just for meat, though, says Emily Horton of The Washington Post. She suggests that many vegetables can also shine when cooked low and slow.

Horton says that while we may automatically revert to salads and other quick prep for many vegetables, especially during the summer months, there are many applications where long cooking can turn ordinary vegetables into extraordinary dishes. Think of “the silky braised greens of the deep South, or the slowly caramelized medley of peppers, onions and zucchini known in Turkey as marmouma, or the sweet and creamy eggplant-sauced pastas of Italy, and you’ll see a powerfully delicious reason to keep summer vegetables on the stove,” she says.

Cooking vegetables to the point of total tenderness goes against the grain for many people, but it can bring out flavors that otherwise would be overlooked. The example that Horton uses is the Romano bean. While these flat beans are often chopped and added to salads or briefly cooked, braising them can bring out an almost meaty essence.

This same technique can be applied to any number of vegetables, from broccoli to fennel to peas. There is no set time limit or amount of water; each vegetable’s requirements will be different. Chef and author Gabrielle Hamilton explains that it isn’t “about length of time; it’s more about the yield that determines when they’re done. Each vegetable will tell you.” Of course, you can also look up great recipes in the EYB Library.

Photo of Romano beans with tomatoes (Loubieh bil zeit) from Saveur Magazine

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