Braised vegetables

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Braised vegetables
You may have noticed that asparagus is not available at our market at present. Evidently much of the asparagus in California is grown using fertilizers to promote more output in the relatively short growing season. The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association is working hard to find a farmer who grows pesticide-free asparagus and can come to our Oakland market. If you find an interested vendor selling organic asparagus at any other markets, let me know. This week’s recipe comes courtesy of Dr. Tom Munyer, Oakland Radiology Department, who loves to cook. He introduced me to “Fine Cooking” magazine which is one of those great publications full of “how to do it” advice. The magazine highlights generic cooking methods that can be adapted to quick weeknight meals or fancy meals when you have more time. From the feedback I have received from readers, “quick” is good. Tired of limp, soggy, steamed vegetables? Try this.


  • Asparagus, carrots or beans, about 1 lb (Medium to thick versions work best. Save the baby veggies for another dish.)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter or Smart Balance
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 to 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard


Prepare the vegetables by snapping off the tough part of the asparagus stalk, cutting the carrot in half crosswise and then the big end in half lengthwise to get pieces of similar size and cut the ends off the beans. Using a sauté pan with a lid, heat the olive oil and 1 tsp butter over medium-high heat until the mixture just starts to brown. Add the vegetables and a little salt and toss well with tongs. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer. Cook without stirring for 3 to 4 minutes until the bottoms are nicely browned. Toss and turn over, cooking for an additional 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, cover immediately and simmer until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the lemon juice, Dijon and the remaining teaspoon of butter. Toss well, scraping up any brown bits. Season with freshly ground pepper and serve.

Nutrition information (per serving)