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Vegetables a la Greque

In France, vegetables prepared a la Grecque ("in the Greek style") are cooked with vinegar or lemon, olive oil and coriander and other seasonings, then allowed to marinate in the refrigerator and served cool. They are a cross between a pickle and a confit. They are richer than plain vinegar pickles, which lets them be their own hors d'oeuvre, in a small chilled bowl, with olives perhaps alongside. They are deeper tasting and more elegant than crudité. They are piquant enough to awaken the appetite without sating it, and make a wonderful accompaniment to cold roasted meats or poultry
Adapted from Tamar Adler in the New York Times

Vegetables a la Greque


  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • ½ cup white-wine vinegar

  • ¼ cup red-wine vinegar

  • 4 tablespoons good white wine

  • 4 cups water

  • 5½ teaspoons iodized salt

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds (whole)

  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds (whole)

  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar

  • 2 whole dried chilies

  • 2 whole bay leaves

  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads

  • A few whole branches fresh thyme

The Vegetables

  • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced vertically (¼” wide julienne slices)

  • 1 cup thinly, vertically cut fennel

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets

  • 1 cup flavorful mushrooms, like trumpets, king oysters or creminis

  • 1 cup carrots cut ¼” wide on the bias

  • 1 cup thinly, diagonally cut celery


  1. In a pot, bring the liquids, spices and herbs to just below a boil.

  2. Cook each vegetable, separated by type, in the seasoned liquid until it can be pierced with a knife and tastes delicious. Start with the onion, then fennel, then cauliflower, mushrooms, carrots and celery. As each batch is done, scoop it out with a slotted spoon or a hand-held sieve.

  3. Place on a sheet pan to cool.

  4. If spices or bits of herb stick to the vegetables, put what you can back in the pot and don’t worry about the rest — everything will marinate together, so things will redistribute. When all the vegetables are cooked, layer them in a one-quart Mason jar — it looks nice if you do mushrooms, then onions and so on. Pour all of the cooking liquid over them, without straining. The olive oil in the liquid will rise to the top and create a seal.

  5. Refrigerate for up to a 1-2 months (or more).

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