Friday’s Fixin’s: Italian Vegetable Stew

Italian Vegetable Stew

Happy Friday and Happy Weekend! How was the first week back at work & school?  I must say that I was overjoyed to be back in a routine. As much as I love time off, the truth is that I’ve always been a schedule-loving kind of girl.

This week, MailiBlue and I were finally reunited in the kitchen, which was one of the great Silver Linings of the week! So, today, I’m super excited about the first new recipe of 2014!  Since Maili & I are doing The Fiddle Diet (see last Friday’s post), the focus this week was on getting the maximum health (and taste, of course) bang for the buck. No better way to do this, really, than with a vegetable stew.

I’ve never been much of a stew person, but as I’ve said here before, all of my old presuppositions about what I like or dislike are pretty much cast aside when Maili cooks!

Ok, you must know that the most challenging aspect of this recipe is the time to chop the ingredients. But please, friends, do not be dismayed by the chopping because this recipe is completely worth it (and what else do you dear readers living in the polar vortex have to do?). It is delicious, packed with amazing vitamins, and worth every effort. The Silver Lining is that this batch is big enough that you’ll have plenty of leftovers.

If you want to add a starch with it, you can serve it on a bed or couscous or quinoa or even with bread. However, I eat it plain because it is that good!

Hope that you enjoy it!

Italian Vegetable Stew | The Silver Pen

Italian Vegetable Stew

Chef Maili Brocke


  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 bunches of fennel, with the tops chopped off and the fennel bulb sliced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 turnip, peeled and chopped
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 6 Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch of lacinto kale (a/k/a black kale or dinosaur kale), stems removed and chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 1 ½  teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup of fresh basil leaves, optional


  1. In a large stock pot, sauté the red onion in olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Peel the skin off of the garlic and crush the cloves.  Add the whole garlic cloves to the onion and olive oil.
  3. Next add the carrots, squash, turnip, parsnip, kale and tomatoes and cook for three minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the water, parsley and bay leaves and turn the heat back up to bring it to a boil.  Then turn the heat to low, cover the pot with a lid and let cook for twenty minutes or until the butternut squash is tender.
  5. Add red pepper flakes, fennel seeds, kale, salt, basil and white wine vinegar and stir well.  Let sit for five minutes to let flavors blend and develop.

Italian Vegetable Stew | The Silver PenOlive Oil | The Silver Pen

This California Olive Ranch olive oil is yummy in the tummy!

Maldon Salt | The Silver Pen

While waiting for the stew to cook, we munched on some turnip slices (yes, turnip – if you like radishes, you’ll LOVE these!).

Be sure to check out Maili’s blog, The Maili Files and see more of Blue’s incredible photography.

Leave a comment


  1. Joan Aldrich says

    Hollye dear,

    So happy that Friday Fixin's is back. I cannot wait to try this healthy stew …
    also LOVE your royal Copenhagen China … 🙂

    Hearts love,

  2. Carolee Groux says

    I love soups and stews in the Winter, especially with lots of root vegetables like in this Italian Stew recipe. However I would skip the fennel which I am not fond of.
    I checked out Blue's photography and caught the pictures of you. You make a great model, and your clothes were so fresh and bright for Santa Barbara. I especially liked the long sleeved dress with the green and yellow birdies. Very nice photos!

    • silverpen says

      Excellent idea, Carolee. The great thing about this recipe is that you can easily customize it.
      Thank you for your kind words about Blue's photography. She is so dear…and incredibly talented!
      Have a great weekend!