1. The classic French mirepoix is comprised of 50% onion, 20% carrot, and 30% celery. The vegetables should be diced to a uniform size to allow for even cooking. 00:11
2. The Spanish mirepoix uses onions, garlic, and tomatoes. 00:36
3. The Cajun Trinity variation on mirepoix uses onions, celery, and green bell peppers. It is often used in Creole cooking. 00:45
4. White mirepoix has four ingredients: onion, leek, celery, and parsnip or cauliflower. The choice of this last ingredient depends on which would work best with the dish being prepared. 00:53
What You'll Need
- Chef’s knife
- Onion, yellow or white, diced medium*
- Carrot, diced medium*
- Celery, diced medium*
- Garlic, finely chopped or minced*
- Tomato, diced medium*
- Green bell pepper, diced medium*
- Leeks, cleaned and sliced thinly*
- Parsnip or cauliflower, diced medium*
*See Chef Notes for further information
Mirepoix is the French term for the vegetable trio of onions, carrots, and celery that is the base for myriad stocks and sauces. It’s named after the 18th century diplomat the Duc de Mirepoix, though why he is associated with the vegetable mélange remains a mystery.
Chef Pace speaks about the Spanish mirepoix that includes tomato and garlic in lieu of the carrots and celery. This is sometimes called a sofrito, and it appears in dishes from all aspects of Latin and Hispanic culture, including Spanish, Mexican, South American, and Portuguese.
The “Holy Trinity” of Cajun cooking- onions, celery, and bell peppers- got its name because Louisiana, the home of Creole cuisine, is largely Roman Catholic. Not surprisingly, legendary Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme is credited with coming up with the name.
A white mirepoix might be used in a dish that was otherwise pale in color and has wintery flavors, such as a creamy chowder or the sauce in a chicken pot pie. The sauce or soup isn’t marred by a burst of color from carrot, tomato, or pepper, and the flavor of the parsnip or cauliflower provides a balanced complement to the dish.