Vegetables a la Grecque
Many vegetables are delicious served cold after simmering in court bouillon, an aromatic flavoured stock. Feature one vegetable, or serve several as part of a lunch or buffet supper with cheeses to complement, such as Emmenthal, Comté, Manchego, or shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, and a selection of cold cuts, such as prosciutto, Serrano ham, or tasty dry salami. Leftovers make an excellent addition to a salad or an antipasto plate.
- Serves: 4-6
- Course: Lunch, Dinner
- 1 lb vegetables (such as baby carrots, leeks, peppers, cauliflower or broccoli florets, celery, mushrooms, fennel, endive, shallots) trimmed and cleaned (500 g)
- Herb Court Bouillon (recipe follows)
- freshly ground black pepper
- chopped fresh parsley, chives, or thyme
Herb Court Boullion
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns (2 ml)
- 1 tsp whole coriander seeds (5 ml)
- pinch crushed fennel seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 2-3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 3-4 fresh parsley stalks
- 2 cups water (500 ml) or 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) water with 1⁄2 cup (125 ml) dry vermouth
- 1/4 cups olive oil (60 ml)
- juice of a large lemon
- 2 shallots, or green onions, chopped
- 1 celery stalk with leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt (2 ml)
- Bring Herb Court Bouillon to a simmer. Add vegetables, cover, and simmer until almost tender, but not soft. Timing will vary depending on the vegetable and how big you’ve cut each piece, so cook in batches, or add more tender vegetables last. Test leeks and celery after about 30 minutes of simmering; cauliflower, broccoli, and fennel after about 12 minutes; baby carrots, mushrooms, and peppers after about 8 minutes.
- Lift vegetables from liquid with a slotted spoon and transfer to a shallow dish.
- Boil liquid for 3–5 minutes until reduced to an almost syrupy glaze. Adjust seasoning.
- Pour glaze over vegetables, cover, and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Sprinkle with fresh herbs at serving time.
Herb Court Boullion
- Gently bruise the whole spices with a mortar and pestle or the bottom of a mug to release their flavours. Tie the bay leaf, thyme, and parsley with string. Combine with remaining ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer, covered, for 8–10 minutes.
- - Court bouillon can be made a day ahead and kept in the fridge.
- - If you prefer to keep the spices separate, tie them loosely in cheesecloth.
- - Omit the oil and lemon juice, and strain to make a poaching liquid for fish or chicken, a base for soup, or a stock for couscous or risotto.