Giambotta is an Italian vegetable stew. It has almost as many variations as there are vegetables. Don’t be put off by the list of ingredients. Once you’ve prepped the vegetables, the work is done. If you’re on a bland diet leave out the peppers and pepper flakes and instead add 2 carrots cut into a 1″ dice. We’ve picked this colorful recipe because it uses two delicious winter root vegetables that tend to be pantry wallflowers: rutabaga and celeriac. Rutabaga is a member of the turnip family and rich in vitamin C, folate, and minerals, just what is needed to sustain the body and bolster the immune system during the cold winter months. Celeriac is rich in nutrients too. Both these veggies bring their cancer fighting properties to this lovely light veggie stew. For added protein, poach one egg per person on top of the stew once it is cooked.
I have loved the peppery sweetness of rutabaga ever since I was a child. While my brothers would be turning their noses up at it, I would be wolfing it down, much to my Mom’s delight. Celeriac I came to like later in life, when I was living in Paris and ate my first Celeriac rémoulade. I graduated to celeriac soups, and gratins, and now it is a firm favorite.
1. Put all the ingredients except the ingredients for garnish into a heavy non-reactive pot. Cover, turn down the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the rutabaga is tender. Remove garlic cloves and bay leaf.
2. At this point, add the eggs if using, cover and poach for 5 minutes until the eggs are set. Sprinkle with the chopped mint, a grind of black pepper, and serve.
- 2 Cubanelle or Italian frying peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 large leeks, white and tender green parts only, sliced and rinsed to remove any dirt
- 1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
- 1 small rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
- 1 small celeriac root, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
- ½ butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
- 1 zucchini cut into 1-inch pieces (optional)
- 1 fennel bulb cut into ¼-inch strips
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled and left whole
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 6 eggs (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint