Technique

Stock Options

The top chef at legendary Greens Restaurant tells you how to make your own vegetable stocks
Stock Options

Homemade stocks provide a foundation of rich, intense flavor you simply can’t get from store-bought versions, and they’re essential to many of the dishes we prepare at Greens. In my book, Everyday Greens, I even include “A Stock Pep Talk” to encourage home cooks to start from scratch. The stock recipes here are easy to prepare and freeze ahead, so they’ll be ready to go when it’s time to cook a holiday feast (such as the one here) or a flavorful stew on a chilly weeknight.

Hot Tips
Stock recipes are open to endless improvisation, as long as you follow these simple guidelines.

Always start with fresh, flavorful veggies. Freshness is the key to a good stock.

Add and exchange ingredients according to the season and recipe. If leeks aren’t in season, substitute green onions or an extra yellow onion. Winter squash parings and seeds can be added to a stock that will be used to make squash soup; you can also throw in fresh corncobs in the summer.

Consider color. Mushrooms add wonderful flavor, but make a darker stock. Red onions can also give the liquid a darker hue. Avoid them if a recipe (such as the Saffron Risotto with Broccoli, above) needs to look light and bright.

Don’t add brassica vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, turnips, and other brassica or cruciferous vegetables have strong flavors that can overpower a stock.

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Mushroom Stock

This full-bodied stock is the secret ingredient to Greens’s mushroom soups and sauces. Because it has a darker color and a strong flavor, it’s best for mushroom-based dishes and hearty recipes.

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Vegetable Stock

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V is for vegetable—and versatility. Double the recipe, freeze half, and make this your go-to stock when cooking soups, stews, and pasta and rice dishes.

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Kimchi Stew

Jewish mothers make chicken soup; Korean mothers make kimchi stew with the spicy pickled cabbage that is the national dish of Korea. Hearty Mushroom Stock stands up to spicy chiles in kimchi and adds an earthy note to this one-pot meal. The spiciness of the stew depends on

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Saffron Risotto with Broccoli

The difference between a good risotto and a great one? A flavorful stock that seasons the rice grains as it is absorbed.

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