Turnips and Onions in Olive Oil

Turnips, the forgotten vegetable of Winter. Yet they are divine either raw or cooked. We have quite a few recipes for you to experiment with. And to add to that list is a simple Turkish dish of turnips and onions simmered using an a la grecque style, and finished with herbs. It is a simple and easy recipe.

The dish is very gentle, some might think it is bland. But it marries beautifully with a host of other, more strongly flavoured dishes. Just don’t overcook the turnips or they will go watery. Remove from the heat when juuuuust tender enough.

Browse all of our Turnip recipes and our Turkish dishes.

Continue reading “Turnips and Onions in Olive Oil”

Fennel a la Greque with Parmesan

When I had a fennel bulb sitting in the bottom of the fridge, my friend Jude came to the rescue with this easy cooked-in-the-oven dish, a la Grecque in style, melt-in-the-mouth in texture and oh-my-goodness flavour-wise.

The fennel, topped with parmesan cheese, is slowly cooked in wine and olive oil until achingly tender, then uncovered and left to crisp and caramelise. It is perfect either hot from the oven or at room temperature. It works well as a side dish, starter or part of a mezze, tapas or grazing plate.

Similar recipes include Fennel Jam, Baked Fennel Stuffed with Feta, Fennel and Potato with White Peas and Garlic, and Braised Fennel with Capers, Olives and Ricotta.

Browse all of our Fennel dishes and our A la Grecque recipes. Or explore our Late Winter dishes.

Continue reading “Fennel a la Greque with Parmesan”

Beautiful Fennel Puree

In this recipe, fennel bulbs are cooked a la Grecque in olive oil and lemon juice until very tender and falling apart. They are then whizzed into the most beautiful puree, perfect for spreading, eating as it is, using as a dressing on salads or hot vegetables, or serving as part of a larger meal.

The puree has a wonderful mayonnaise type texture so it acts amazingly well as a dressing over salads, or over baked or steamed vegetables.

This dish comes from Italy, and it is the Italians who seem to use fennel the most. At one time, it was popular at the end of a meal, a delicious way to cleanse the palate. Parts of Tuscany still do this, I hear. The best salad is still fennel, sliced thinly and dressed with olive oil, salt and lemon juice. Just perfect. This dish retains those flavours but cooks the fennel to a soft and gentle puree.

Are you after similar dishes? Try Guacamole, White Bean and Sun Dried Tomato Dip/Spread, Slow Baked Fennel with Chilli, Orange and Garlic, and Fennel a la Grecque.

Try some other purees too – Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean, Broad Bean and Butter Bean, and Spiced Tomato.

You can also browse all of our Fennel dishes, and all of our Puree recipes. You might like to check out our Dressings, Spreads and Dips too, and all of our Italian dishes. Or take some time and explore our Mid Winter menus.

Continue reading “Beautiful Fennel Puree”

Braised Fennel with Capers, Olives and Ricotta

Ah fennel – the vegetable that says Summer to me, yet grows in Winter. It goes so well in crisp, light, lively salads, the sort that don’t seem to pair well with the cold, short, dark days of Winter. The trick of course, is to apply heat to the bulb, braising or sauteeing it into dishes suitable for Winter. We have a few ready to be posted over the next few Wintery months, so stay tuned.

This dish braises the fennel with salty capers and black olives, splashing it with verjuice before serving it with a little creamy feta and tangy lemon zest. It is an Ottolenghi dish – who else would put those flavours together? It is a pleasure to add this dish to our heat-applied fennel dishes.

Just in case you are wondering, the 15 garlic cloves isn’t a typo – once scorched, they add a mellowing sweetness to an otherwise piercingly sharp dressing. Keep the ricotta in the dish if you can, it helps balance the acidity of the verjuice and other ingredients.

This Ottolenghi dish is from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area. In fact, it is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. As I said, I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include  Baked Fennel with a Creamy Sauce, Fennel with Garlic and Orange, Slow Baked Fennel with Chilli, Garlic and Orange, Fennel and Fig Salad with Vin Cotto, and Fennel, Tomato and Potato Salad.

Browse all of our Fennel recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

Continue reading “Braised Fennel with Capers, Olives and Ricotta”

Green Beans Braised in Tomato and Olive Oil

In Turkey, slow braised vegetables in olive oil is common. It’s a cooking method that creates fabulous flavours. These green beans are cooked with tomatoes, olive oil and onions until meltingly soft – and the sauce! Oh my!

The method of cooking is very similar to a la Grecque style of cooking, where wine and olive oil are used to slowly cook the vegetables. This dish  has no wine, but uses lemon juice instead. Indeed France, Italy, Greece, all over the Middle East and Sephardic Jewish communities all have similar recipes for long cooked beans with tomatoes and olive oil. No wonder! It is delicious, with the beans absorbing the flavours of the sauce as they soften and meld into the dish.

Similar recipes include Gujarati Green Beans, Green Beans with Freekeh, Glorious Five Bean Salad, and Baby Sweetcorn and Green Bean Salad.

Browse our Green Bean dishes and our Turkish recipes. Our a la Grecque  recipes are here. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Green Beans Braised in Tomato and Olive Oil”

French Braised Lettuce, Broad Beans and Peas | Peas and Broad Beans a la Grecque

Well, the news is out. I love broad beans and have had quite a broad bean fest this year, eating them in various ways and forms on most days. This recipe is a gentle braise that is very much French in style, gentle in style and flavours, but glorious as a dish.

It uses those lettuce leaves that can withstand heat – cos and iceberg are two that are ideal for this recipe. You can use other leaves, but make sure that they are not too strongly flavoured or else they will overwhelm the dish.

Similar recipes include Braised Broad Beans, Peas and Lettuce with Parmesan Rice, Mustardy Peas with Purslane, Saffron Mograbieh Pilaf with Broad Beans, Broad Beans with Feta and Preserved Lemon, and Spring Pasta with Broad Beans and Mint.

A la Grecque dishes you might lie to try include Green Beans in Tomato and Olive Oil, Leeks and Carrots a la Grecque, Gentle Vegetables a la Grecque, and Courgettes a la Grecque.

You might like to browse our other a la Grecque recipes (in the Greek style), or our French recipes. Our Broad Bean recipes are here and are worth a look. Or simply explore our Late Spring recipes.

Continue reading “French Braised Lettuce, Broad Beans and Peas | Peas and Broad Beans a la Grecque”

Leeks and Carrots a la Grecque with Tomatoes and Herbs

This is a beautiful Autumn and Winter dish that can also be made with Spring vegetables. Today it might be Spring here, but leeks and carrots are still on the menu on the colder days of this transitional season. We have had such cold weather this year, even breaking records for the coldest November day in 50 years.

You can vary this dish. For example, use leeks only, or carrots only.  Potatoes on their own are also very very good.

Read about Cooking a la Grecque Style.

Similar recipes include Golden Brown Carrots with Garlic, Sweet and Sour Leeks with Burrata, Leeks and Carrots a la Grecque, Mushrooms a la GrecqueCauliflower a la Grecque, and Fennel a la Grecque.

You might like to browse our Leek recipes, and our “a la Grecque” recipes. Also check out our easy Mid Winter recipes.

This dish is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006.  You can find other recipes from that blog in the Retro Recipes series.

Continue reading “Leeks and Carrots a la Grecque with Tomatoes and Herbs”

Slow Baked Fennel with Chilli, Garlic and Orange

Nothing says “Winter” quite like baked fennel

Fennel raw in the warmer parts of Autumn is a must; fennel braised, roasted, pureed, baked, grilled or otherwise cooked in Winter is so heavenly.

Today, slow baked in olive oil and lemon juice – almost cooked a la Grecque – is a suitably Wintery dish for this weather. Enlivened with a Roast Vegetable Salt and Orange Zest, and replacing some of the lemon with pomegranate vinegar, set the scene for a Sunday lunch.

Are you looking for similar Fennel dishes? Try Fennel and Potato with White Beans and Garlic, Braised Fennel with Capers, Olives and Ricotta, Fennel Salad with Orange Vinaigrette, Grilled Fennel with Mozzarella, and Fennel a la Grecque.

Also try Fava.

You might like other Fennel recipes and a la Grecque dishes. Our Greek Dishes are here. Or explore our Mid Winter dishes.

Continue reading “Slow Baked Fennel with Chilli, Garlic and Orange”

Mushrooms a la Grecque | Mushrooms Cooked with Herbs

Versatile Greek style mushrooms

A quick lunch that does not miss out on flavour. A gorgeous brunch for a Spring day. Or part of a tapas style meal. Or a snack under the grape vines. This recipe even works well with mushrooms that are, well, a little tired and still sitting in the bottom fridge drawer.

Similar recipes include Pearl Mushrooms with Thyme.

Read more about a la Grecque cooking. Feel free to browse our “a la Greque” recipes and our Mushroom recipes. Check out our easy Mid Spring recipes too.

Continue reading “Mushrooms a la Grecque | Mushrooms Cooked with Herbs”

How to Cook a la Grecque

The term “a la Grecque” is used a little indiscriminately. When a dish is “a la Grecque,” it means it has been prepared in the Greek manner, flavoured with, for example, wine, olive oil, lemon, herbs and spices, and is usually served cold or at room temperature. Generally it is applied to a single vegetable at a time, but vegetables can be mixed. It is ideal for tender, young vegetables — artichokes and mushrooms, carrots, fennel, cauliflower, pearl onions, celeriac, bell peppers, fresh lima or fava beans, zucchini. Use vegetables that can hold up during the cooking process. Root vegetables work particularly well; leafy greens do not.

It is likely that “a la Grecque” is a term that originated in France for dishes cooked in this manner. Continue reading “How to Cook a la Grecque”