Vegetables à la Grecque
Although the Greeks do not really ever cook this way, the French à la Grecque method of cooking young spring or autumn vegetables does have a somewhat Hellenic flavor, with its liberal use of vinegar, fresh herbs and coriander seeds. The vegetables can be served as a first course, maybe with a slice of pâté, or as a piquant accompaniment to cold roasted meats or poultry.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 0.25 cup dry white wine
- 0.25 cup water
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 0.25 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 2 large bay leaves
- 0.25 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 0.25 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 0.25 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 0.5 pound carrots, peeled and cut into ¼ inch slices
- 0.5 pound large pearl onions, peeled
- 0.5 cup white mushrooms, quartered
- 0.5 pound cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
- In a large, deep skillet, combine oil with the wine, water, vinegar, coriander seeds, bay leaves, peppercorns, fennel, thyme, tomato paste and one teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the carrots, pearl onions and mushrooms. Cover and simmer over moderate heat, occasionally stirring, until the carrots and pearl onions are tender, about 10 minutes. Cook until the onions are crisp-tender, then add the cauliflower florets. Cook covered ten more minutes until tender but still firm. Taste and modify the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Discard the bay leaves and peppercorns before serving. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over top.
- When possible, make the dish a day ahead and keep it covered in the fridge overnight to allow the flavors to develop.
Although cooked, vegetables à la Grecque are considered a "crudité".