Root Vegetable Ragout

Time: 20 minutes preparation 45 minutes no-work cooking time

The saffron infuses this humble combination of potatoes and other root vegetables with sophisticated taste and color, while the raisins inject a sweet counterpoint. Paprika is an acceptable (cheaper) substitute for the saffron.


  • 2 onions
  • 6 carrots
  • 4 small white turnips
  • 4 medium-size boiling potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • teaspoon saffron or ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup chicken broth or water
  • ¾ cup raisins or currants
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Thinly slice the onions. Peel and slice the carrots ¼ inch thick. Peel the turnips and potatoes and cut them into ¾-inch cubes.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium-size saucepan over high heat until shimmering. Add the onions and sauté until they sizzle and begin to wilt, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook covered until the onions are soft and begin to turn golden, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the vegetables, saffron, white wine, broth, and raisins. Simmer covered over low heat until the potatoes are tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot.


To turn this into a main-course skillet supper: Cut 1 pound smoked ham, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or leftover roasted meat into 1-inch cubes while the vegetables are cooking. When the potatoes are tender, stir in the meat and continue to simmer until the meat is cooked or heated through, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot.