This recipe previously appeared on Plants Rule.
There was once a time when I was wary of eating potatoes and other starchy foods. Fortunately, a few eye-opening experiences completely changed the way I view this versatile food. It all began with my journey as a fitness professional and my battle with weight loss.
Always overweight, I struggled with how to guide Personal Training and Group Fitness clients on nutrition. For some reason, the rules of calories in/calories out failed me. This simple message seemed to be lost in the packaged “energy” bars, fiber-laced cereals, and “extra protein” Greek yogurts. I felt more guilty about eating potatoes than the processed food that filled my cabinet.
After a life-changing trip to New Zealand, however, I began to celebrate plants and reconsider the way I’d been eating. I left behind the fake foods of my cabinet in place of trips to the farmer’s market. I opened my arms to the potato. I researched more about nutrient symphonies, calorie density, unnecessary oils, and the power that a whole-foods, plant-based diet can have in reversing disease, improving quality of life, and creating a healthy, thriving being.
I stopped eating dairy. I stopped cooking with oil. I filled my plate with whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, and a variety of plants.
And I finally lost weight. A lot of weight. Like 50 pounds weight (about 27% of my body weight).
This potato stew is one of those happy, plant-based, filling yet vibrant meals that have helped me along the way. I took inspiration from Chef Jim Clendenen and refashioned the classic French Navarin D’Agneau into a vegan, gluten-free dish. Traditional lamb is replaced with hearty Fingerling Potatoes. You can simmer it in your Slow Cooker, the oven, or right on the stove. Either way, this makes a healthy, fat-free comfort-food dinner. Enjoy!
Tarragon Potato Stew with Root Vegetables (Navarin D’Agneau)
- 1 carrot
- 1 parsnip
- 1 turnip
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 shallot
- 2 tablespoons brown rice flour
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 1/2 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon
- 4 cups vegetable stock (or water)
- 1 pound fingerling potatoes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- fennel fronds, to garnish
1. Gather ingredients. Preheat oven to 350°F. Preheat a wide pan over medium-high heat.
To make the Stew: Peel the carrot, parsnip, turnip and fennel. Reserve some of the fennel fronds for garnish. Core the fennel. Cut all of the vegetables into batonnet — batons about 1-2 inches long.
2. Peel and thinly slice the shallot.
3. Add the carrot, parsnip, turnip, fennel, and shallot to the pre-heated pan. Let sear until golden around the edges, about 10 minutes.
4. When the vegetables are lightly browned, add the brown rice flour. Stir well to dust the vegetables with the flour. Cook 2-3 minutes, just until the flour is no longer white.
5. Meanwhile, chop the tarragon.
6. Add the wine, Sherry vinegar, fingerling potatoes, fresh tarragon, and vegetable stock (or water). Cover and bake in your 350°F oven for about 1 hour.
The stew is ready when the potatoes pass the Knife-Glide check: You should be able to easily pierce one with a knife and it will glide off.
Garnish with fresh fennel fronds and serve.
Chef’s Tip: Use your favorite root vegetables or whatever spring vegetables look good at the market. This recipe should celebrate the first vegetables of spring. If you can find baby vegetables, they add a lovely, hearty texture to this stew.
More Vegan French Recipes: French Onion Soup with Garlic Croutons
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Photos: Katie Simmons