Saffron-flavored Vegetable Pot — Cocotte safranée de légumes racines

What is your opinion on this: are we given permission to continue to cook wintery meals? I mean, what kind of season is this? Spring (definitely here yesterday) or still winter (like today)? The problem is that we do not know OR knowing how the weather can play devilish tricks, we should all be careful. Besides, we have a saying in French (totally pointless when translated since the beauty of it lies in the rhymes, ah, but I will say it all the same):

    En avril,
    Ne te découvre pas d’un fil,
    En mai,
    Fais ce qu’il te plaît.

Ok, I will translate, no need to panic here.

    In April,
    Don’t remove a thread from you (does this make sense at all?),
    In May,
    Do as you please.

So since we are still in March, you see my point? No rush! We have plenty of time to think about spring (well I started some spring dishes before, didn’t I?) In other words, I cheated! However, I do believe that we should not tease Monsieur the weather (it must be masculine for sure), and adopt behaviors by which we start wearing flip-flops and shorts yet. The confusing part might sometimes come from what you see in the streets. For example, if you wander around on an American university campus, you might encounter creatures wearing long shorts and sandals while it is 10 C outside. I have seen it. And it confuses me since the next thing I do is get home to get changed in a t-shirt and a skirt with bare legs. I go outside feeling freer. For the first hour I am fine. An hour later I realize I was tricked!

So it might not be spring where I live now but of course, it is all relative. Spring here is fall there, right? In places like Italy for example, in Ilva‘s world, spring is much more advanced than it is here in Boston. Ilva’s shots are so beautiful and tempting that I have recently developed the habit by which, every day, I check Expedia’s or Orbitz’s airfare tickets to Italy. At Lucullian Delights, not only do you see beautiful daily nature shots, but you seem to eat so well!

Spring being resistant, my food tastes vary from comfy food to fresh, cold foods. I decided once more to make good use of my food magazines, so reliable in providing a flow of ideas. What shall I make tonight? I just don’t know what it is: looking at a food magazine has this Je ne sais quoi which always cheers me up. De la magie!. This time around, the magazine I used as a reference was Elle à table from which I extracted the recipe that follows. I made some tiny changes, such as use less butter and cream. Many recipes tend to put twice as much as I do. Mais il ne faut pas pousser, quand même et restons raisonnables! (We should not push it and stay sensible!)

This dish revealed smoothness and sweetness, with root vegetables swimming in a nice saffron broth. Adding the cream gave to the broth a faint soft orange colour, which was sure to attract my eye right away. Did I say I liked it?

Safran-flavored Vegetable Pot

(for 4 people)

You need:

  • 200 g fresh spring carrots
  • 300 g celeriac (celery root)
  • 200 g parsnips
  • 250 g rutabaga
  • 1 dose saffron
  • 30 g butter
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Bunch of arugula
  • 3 tbsp cream
  • 30 cl chicken stock


  • Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pot.
  • When melted and frothy, add the saffron and cook for a mn.
  • Peel the vegetables.
  • Cut the carrots (or leave whole with a tiny piece of green if small, they look nicer) and parsnips in long sticks, the celery and rutabaga in small cube-like pieces.
  • Add the vegetables and cook for a few mns.
  • Add the broth and bring to a simmer.
  • Cook until the vegetables are softer but still firm.
  • Add the cream and prolong the cooking time for 5 mns.
  • Then away from heat, add the coarsely chopped arugula.

Serve immediately! And dip bread in it. It is one of the best part.

Posted in French Inspired, Gluten Free, Vegetarian


  1. It looks perfectly delicious to me! And I am jealous of your lovely mussel pot!

  2. Bea – what an eloge! Thank you so much for your kind words! I hope spring arrives soon to you too!

  3. Hi Bea,
    What a beautiful dish. I love root vegetables and this looks like an awesome preparation. Thank you.

  4. Quel dommage que tu ne publies pas en français. Je trouve que tes photos sont superbes et tes recettes me font envie, mais je bute sur la langue (pas assez douée); dis, ne pourrais-tu les publier dans les deux langues, stplééé…

  5. lol Bea! never mind about the season, the recipe is great! :)) in england there isnt such way of saying, we stay covered all year around! :))

  6. Bea, I just adore winter cooking: root vegetables, braised meats, soups and stews, etc. As much I loathe the weather, I always feel a tinge of regret when spring arrives because I know I’m leaving behind certain dishes for a few months.

    Of course, I then start thinking about all the wonderful spring produce, and the pain goes away pretty quickly.

  7. hello bea, i love most of the vegie’s.. with the couscous… i prefer eating the vegetables than the meat.
    En tous les cas.. the color of the vegie’s very lovely in contrast with the black color.. Looking at the orange color of the carrot.. i can imagine the sweet natural taste of them.
    Bea, you can get STAUB product in the US?

  8. Hi Bea

    What gorgeous pictures (as usual).

    March is such a variable month–I believe in making what suits my mood…akin to do the best you can with what youve got. Whether it’s root veg or whatever, as long as you enjoy it, it doesn’t really matter what the calendar says…

    Today it felt like the first real spring day up here…but I know we will be in for another blast of winter before Easter (I can feel it in my bones).


  9. Hi L, very good eyes!! Cool pot eh? Was given as a gift by a friend!

    Fabienne, yes let’s patiently wait. It is warmer here though so we are on track! Yesterday felt like spring.

    Ilva, you are welcome! I love your pics and can “feel” Italy through them!

    Catherine, thank you. Let me know how you like it. Vegetables are the best! Cannot wait to grow them!

    Menus propos, merci de ton gentil commentaire. Tu me donnes des idees. Je vais peut-etre le faire 😉 Reviens voir. En attendant, si tu veux une recette, fais-moi signe, je peux te la traduire.

    Alanna, yes you are so right.

    Francesca, how can you cook sunny food like you do and live in a place where you never wear short skirts ? 😉

    Rob, Yes I am like you, I love stews and winter foods! Comfy! But yes, spring will have tons of nice surprises for us.

    Yes we can get STAUB! And Le Creuset. Everything you want actually! Online business is good 😉

    Thanks Jasmine, I hope we are not going to fall back in winter. Please no!!
    Thanks for your note!

  10. i am intruiged about this flavour. a few additions of cloves, star anise, pepper corns would make it into a subtley spiced creamy vegetable curry. i agree on the brad dipping… its my favourite hobby 😉

  11. Je suis preneur comme Menupropos pour les recettes en français, bien que je trouve que cela nous fait un bien fou, de faire l’effort de traduire via les sites gratuits.
    Pour ma part, je me suis fait des recettes bilingues
    anglais-français, se serait peut-être une bonne formule pour les recettes traduites ?
    Qu’en penses-tu Béa ? Merci pour nous !
    Bonnes fêtes de Pâques par chez vous
    Bye bye

  12. Bea – are you still reading these? My daughter “Vingdeaux” sent me here and it’s hard to leave, so wonderful. I”m excited to play with these for postpartum clients – there are adaptations I’ll make for better comfort for mama-baby that will be easy and they will enjoy so much. Glorious! ARe you ok with me passing a few of them on like that, in a cookbook?

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