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Indulging my interest in food and flavor, I love to write about cooking, gardening and life's bounty. My new book - "Discover Cooking with Lavender"- is now available

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Farmer's Market Vegetable Tray

Eating enough vegetables can be a challenge. Somehow it is easier to reach for a cracker or chips rather than take time to wash and peel a carrot or cut up a red pepper. The best thing about this recipe is the peeling, cutting and seasoning can be done ahead of time. The vegetables are in your refrigerator ready for that moment when you need a quick and satisfying snack.

By the way, the French call this technique Vegetables a la Grecque meaning vegetables prepared in the Greek style. Prepare a court bullion, a poaching broth and steam your favorite vet ables making sure they are not overcooked. The steaming helps the vegetables absorb flavor and brings out the vibrant colors while maintaining a crisp and crunchy texture. Select high quality organic vegetables for the best result. You can use carrots, celery, mushrooms, tiny onions, red or green peppers, cauliflower, string beans, asparagus and broccoli florets. Your eyes will feast on the splash of color, your body will love the nutritional content and you will relish the flavor.

Poaching Broth
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup red vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
2 tablespoons sugar

3 cups vegetables, cut in 1 inch pieces

1. Add the first eight ingredients into a medium saucepan. Simmer for five minutes.
2. Poach vegetables in the season broth for 2 minutes.
3. Remove vegetables with slotted spoon and place on tray to cool.

When vegetables are cool, place them into a jar or bowl. Pour the poaching broth over the vegetables and cover. Store in the refrigerator for 2 days.

Serve with gren or black olives on a decorative platter.