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The earliest a la grecque recipes featured onions and mushrooms. These small vegetables, which we could almost class as preserves in their lemon and oil marinade, flavored with coriander seeds, were part of the large range of hors d'oeuvres of the time. They make a delicious light appetizer and are a classic of twentieth-century cuisine.
- 3 purple artichokes, about 5 ounces each
- 1/2 lemon
- 12 scallions
- 18 button mushrooms (champignons)
- 12 cauliflower florets
- 1 large stick celery, cut into 6 pieces
- 1 small red bell pepper
- 3/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
Cut off the stalk of each artichoke 3/4 inch from the heart; remove the tough leaves and cut off the tips of the remaining leaves 3/4 inch above the heart. Trim the hearts and the stalks and rub them with the half lemon. Cut each heart into 6 pieces. Blanch in salted water for 5 minutes, then drain.
Peel the onions and blanch for 5 minutes in salted water. Drain and set aside with the artichokes.
Cut the stems off the mushrooms. Blanch the caps for 1 minute. Blanch the cauliflower and the celery the same way. Cut the bell pepper flesh into small dice.
In a non-aluminum saucepan, combine the lemon juice, oil, white pepper, fennel and coriander seeds, some salt and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Add the artichokes, onions, mushrooms, cauliflower and celery and cook for 10 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Remove the vegetables with a skimmer and transfer them to a deep dish. On high heat, reduce the cooking liquid to a syrupy consistency. Pour over the vegetables and let cook completely before serving.
Vegetables prepared this way may be kept in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
190 calories; 15g total fat; 0mg cholesterol; 86mg sodium; 15g carbohydrates; 6g fiber; 4g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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