Vegetable stock for Bitter Greens

Written by Eydie Desser

I’m obsessed with Alfred Portale! He is one of my very favorite chefs. His restaurant, Gotham Bar & Grill, in NYC, is not only gorgeous, but the service is on-point and every dish is magnificent. I like to adapt his recipes to be plant-based and oil-free. His vegetable stock has zucchini and tomato, which gives the stock a bit of sweetness….perfect to balance out a soup or sauce using bitter greens. The only change I made to the original recipe was eliminating the oil and the salt. It’s still very flavorful. Try this, you will love it.


  • 2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2 small leeks, split lengthwise, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato, or two smaller red tomatoes, halved
  • 1 whole garlic head, halved crosswise
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 thyme sprigs, coarsely chopped
  • 2 basil sprigs, coarsely chopped
  • 2 flat-leaf parsley sprigs, coarsely chopped


1- Heat a 6-1/2 qt sized dutch oven over medium-high heat for 2 minutes.

2- Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions, zucchini, leeks, fennel, tomato, garlic, and shallots, to the pot, stirring to combine.

3- Cover and cook until the vegetables are softened but not browned, about 10 minutes.

4- Add 2 quarts of cold water and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Add the herbs and simmer for 10 minutes more.

5- Remove the pot from the heat and let steep for 10 minutes.  Strain the stock into a large bowl or container and cool completely.

Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.  

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