It's the Beginning of Comfort Food Season
Credit: Johnny Miller

Missy Robbins, who rocked the New York food scene during her five years at the helm of the modern Italian eatery A Voce, is back in action with Lilia, a new pasta-centric restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn that's due to open later this fall. Sure to top her fall menu: a veggie-loaded Tuscan stew (commonly referred to as "ribollita"), hearty with chunks of bread, carrots, tomatoes, and earthy root vegetables. "Let it cook nice and slow," Robbins says. "This is not a dish to rush." While you don't want to overcook the vegetables, she adds, ribollita is better made a day or two ahead, giving all those heady flavors ample time to blend.

Tuscan Kale and Root Vegetable Ribollita

Serves: 4-6

Total Time: 2 hours


½ lb country-style sourdough bread, torn into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 medium onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 small celery root, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
2 small carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about ½ cup)
3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about 1½ cups)
½ tsp crushed red pepper
1 28-oz can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
½ bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 rosemary sprig
1 sage sprig
5 thyme sprigs
1 ¼-lb piece Parmesan rind
1 lb. Tuscan kale, stems removed and leaves torn (about 4 cups, loosely packed)
1 15-oz can gigante beans, rinsed and drained Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup grated Parmesan


1. Preheat oven to 200°F.
2. Spread torn bread on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until crisp but not browned, about 1 hour. (Or simply dry the bread on the baking sheet, uncovered, overnight.)
3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large stockpot over low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in root vegetables, red pepper, and tomatoes.
4. Gather parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme into a bunch and tie with kitchen twine. Add to the pot along with the Parmesan rind. Add enough water to cover the vegetables (about 8 cups); bring to a simmer over moderately high heat.
5. Cover and reduce the heat to low; simmer until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes.
6. Discard herb bundle and Parmesan rind.
7. Stir in kale and beans. Cook until kale is wilted and beans are heated through, about 15 minutes.
8. Stir in dried bread until it's soaked; season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with grated Parmesan.

For more fall recipes, pick up the October issue of InStyle, now available on newsstands and for digital download.