Vegetables a la Greque a la Karo

22 Jun

This is from a good friend of mine who has the same philosophy of cooking with love and passion, and as little harm as possible. She sent it to me as below, and I love her words, so I will let them be …

The original recipe is in “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” – and I think it’s volume 1.

It’s a one-pot method of turning your beautiful raw vegetables, which might otherwise become cloudy and dull in the fridge as you wait for another idea/opportunity to do something with them, into delectable little appetisers or salady thingies.

You can do it with any vegetable that has firm texture and flavour, as long as it does not need to be cooked before being eaten raw like potatoes and aubergines do. I find it a much more forgiving method than oven-roasting or grilling for cold salad veg.

I have used: courgettes, mushrooms, asparagus, pepper, celery, green beans, beetroot. Must do firm small tomatoes next.

Take your fresh and good vegetables and prepare them as if for salad – cut them cleanly and decoratively and uniformly.

Take a pot and put in it a scanty pint of water, the juices of one or two lemons, a cup of good olive oil, good salt, pepper, and garlic cloves finely chopped. Add any good herbs that you have to flavour your court-bouillon; bay, parsley, thyme, tarragon, fennel … I have added lemon rind too.

Bring to the boil and simmer your vegetables within until tender but still holding their firmness. Mushrooms will be tender in 5 minutes or less (depending on your slicing of them); celery could take 20.

Remove your vegetables, and leave to cool on a plate.

You could now poach another set of vegetables in the same pot. Or proceed:

Strain the court-bouillon and put it back to reduce by at least half. It will become a lovely flavoured smooth light emulsion.

Then cool it down and bathe your vegetables with it. And then eat as they are at room-temperature or cold from the fridge later. And consider dressing them further by adding garlic or fresh herbs or more garlic or more whatever to them.

(Last weekend, I had a cold hors d’oeuvre which included mushrooms with no added seasoning, green beans with lots of extra lemon and garlic, courgettes with chopped parsley and lemon )

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