London’s springy weather has been tempting me to try some new, fresh-tasting recipes. For inspiration, I turned to Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, of which we have the German version (called Genussvoll vegetarisch). Also, my mom keeps making recipes from her (English-language) copy of Plenty and telling me how good they are (I know, too; we’ve made this a few times), so she also inspired me to crack open the book and find something nice for a Sunday dinner.
For a main dish, F and I made an amazing caramelized garlic and goat cheese tart. As a side, we tried these “pochiertes juges Gemüse” (“poached young vegetables”). The vegetables, lightly poached in a white wine-olive oil-lemon juice mixture, turned out well. They retained some crunch and still tasted fresh and bright. Poached spring vegetables would be a great accompaniment to any meaty main you might cook up. The recipe is also easy to expand or contract, depending on how many people you’ll be feeding and/or how many leftovers you want.
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Poached Spring Vegetables (adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Genussvoll vegetarisch/Plenty)
- 5-7 young carrots, peeled
- 3 fennel bulbs
- 2-3 bunches thin green asparagus
- 3 thin zucchini
- 2-3 thin leeks
- to taste: minced fresh dill
- Poaching liquid:
- 750mL (1 bottle) white wine
- 250mL olive oil
- juice of 3 lemons
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 onion, quartered
- 2 celery stalks, cut into chunks
- 1 tsp salt
- Wash the vegetables. Cut the carrots, zucchini, and leeks lengthwise into sticks that are about the same thinness as the asparagus. Slice the fennel thinly.
- Pour the wine into a large pot and let it heat over medium-high for a few minutes. Add the rest of the poaching liquid ingredients and bring to a boil.
- When the liquid boils, poach the vegetables: first carrots and fennel, then asparagus, then zucchini and leeks. If your pot is big enough, you can poach everything together; if not, poach the vegetables in batches (like I did). Each set of veggies should take 3-5 minutes to poach — you want them cooked but still a little crunchy.
- Serve the poached vegetables with some of the liquid and garnish with fresh dill.