This is the perfect way to use spring’s bounty of vegetables, including new potatoes, leeks and baby artichokes. Serve alongside soft polenta, or, for a hearty meatless meal, top with fried or poached eggs. If you’re not a vegetarian, you might want to crumble some cooked bacon on the finished ragout.
Slow-Cooker Spring Vegetable Ragout
6 oz. (185 g) new potatoes or small red potatoes, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
3 leeks, white and pale green parts, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick
1 lb. (500 g) fresh baby artichokes, trimmed and halved lengthwise, or 1 package
(14 oz./440 g) frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and halved lengthwise
1 cup (6 oz./185 g) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
10 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) dry white wine
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
2 Tbs. olive oil
4 tsp. white wine vinegar
2 fresh thyme sprigs
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz./235 g) fresh or thawed frozen English peas
1 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
1 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
1. In a slow cooker, combine the potatoes, leeks, fresh artichokes (if using frozen hearts, reserve for adding later), tomatoes, garlic, onion, wine, broth, oil, vinegar, thyme, 1/2 tsp. salt and several grinds of pepper and stir to mix well. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours. If using frozen artichoke hearts, add them to the slow cooker after 2 hours of cooking and stir well. The vegetables should be tender.
2. About 30 minutes before the ragout is ready, add the peas, re-cover and cook until the peas are warmed through.
3. Remove and discard the thyme, then stir in the mint and basil. Transfer the vegetables and some of their juices to a serving bowl or individual plates. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
Learn to make the most of your slow cooker with this and other inspiring recipes in our Quick Slow Cooking, by Kim Laidlaw.