Mirepoix. You may not be able to say it (“meer-pwah”–and don’t forget the French accent). But believe me, you sure as heck want to eat it. Not by itself but in every sauce, soup, braise, roast, stew, risotto…essentially any savory homestyle dish you can think of.
According to the foremost resource of culinary knowledge, Larousse Gastronomique, mirepoix has been a staple since the 18th century when a duke’s cook dreamt it up. It can be served “au gras” (with meat), although it’s typically prepared “au maigre” (just veggies). Fat or lean, these aromatics are always used as a flavor base for a main course. The simple and affordable combo of onion, celery, and carrot has a surprisingly huge flavor payoff that can transform a dish from amazing to unforgettable. Seriously. Try it.
**makes enough for one main dish**
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 rib of celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, skinned and chopped
- 2 tbsp butter substitute (as you know, Smart Balance is my frittata-friendly go-to)
- Melt butter in sauce pan on medium-high heat for about a minute. Watch it and stir when needed to keep it from turning brown (very difficult for an incessant multitasker like myself).
- Add onion, celery, and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes*. Turn down the heat if they’re looking ready to turn brown.
- Put it in your dish.
*If main dish recipe calls for tender mirepoix, cook until vegetables are forkable (about 20 minutes).