- ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 medium white or yellow onion, peeled and chopped (1½ cups)
- 8 ounces mushrooms such as cremini, shitake, maitake, or oyster (4 loose cups)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed (1¼ teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 (14.5 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes (1¾ cups)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano or marjoram
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ small red onion or 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced (1 loose cup)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (from 1 lime)
- 3 medium white potatoes, such as yukon gold, scrubbed and halved or quartered if large
- 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 1 cup mixed fresh herbs such as dill or parsley
- Cooked white or brown rice, for serving
- Soft-boiled egg, for serving
Recipe by Yewande Komolafe
Reprinted from Waffles + Mochi: The Cookbook. Available everywhere books are sold November 2021.
Any dish with this many ingredients should be considered a celebration. We’re really bringing out everything the pantry has to offer here, but none of the flavors need to miss the party. The star ingredient? Water!
Water brings everything together in a single brothy and richly textured stew. Call this dish your finale, your encore, or the curtain call! You’ll experience rice, corn, potatoes, mushrooms, salt, herbs, and egg—with umami in every bite—in one showstopping dish.
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes. Add the onions and mushrooms, and cook, stirring frequently until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin seeds and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Slowly pour in the tomatoes and their juices, tearing the whole tomatoes into large chunks with your hands as you add them. Pop in the bay leaf, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes, then stir.
Water is tasteless and colorless. It has no caloric or nutrient value, and yet it is vital to life. Without water, we can’t grow food, it would be difficult to cook, and we certainly couldn’t clean dishes. It’s a precious resource!
Now for the star of the show: Pour in 4 cups of water, stir, and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid is slightly reduced and the sauce is just beginning to thicken, about 12 to 15 minutes. Season with salt.
While the sauce is reducing, make the quick-pickled onions: In a shallow bowl, combine the sliced red onions with the lime juice. Season with a pinch of salt. Allow the onions to sit while you finish the stew.
Our bodies are 60% water and we can only tolerate very small fluctuations in this percentage. It would take humans weeks to starve, but only a few days to dehydrate. When exhaled or perspired, water removes excess heat energy from the body, and we respond by getting thirsty. So drink plenty of water!
Carefully drop the potatoes into the pot, stir, and cook the stew until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart, about 14 minutes. Stir in the corn and cook until warmed through, another 2 to 3 minutes. Taste the stew, then adjust the seasoning by adding more salt if necessary.
To serve, divide the stew among shallow bowls. Top with some cooked white rice, a soft-boiled egg, pickled red onions, and a handful of fresh herbs. Drizzle with more olive oil. Serve warm while you take in compliments to the chef–that’s you!
NOW, MAKE YOUR TASTEBUDS SING!
You completed Gratitouille.