This recipe is from the cookbook Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. Just-poached vegetables show off their natural attributes, and taste fresh and light in a way you never get with roasting or frying. Baby turnip or corn will work, too, as will broad beans, peas and green beans. Don't chop them up much and don't cook them very long. Serve warm with the broth and mayonnaise as a starter, or cold with the mayonnaise only.
I have reprinted the recipe exactly even though all of the vegetables are not in season right now. We made this the other night though with carrots, zucchini, green beans and leeks and it was lovely.
Ingredients Mayonnaise ½ garlic clove, crushed 1 egg yolk 1½ tsp white-wine vinegar ½ tsp Dijon mustard ½ tsp salt Juice and zest of ½ lemon 75ml vegetable oil 2 tbsp capers, drained and chopped
Poaching liquor 600ml white wine 200ml olive oil 150ml lemon juice 2 bay leaves ½ onion 2 celery sticks, cut into batons 1 tsp salt
The vegetables 100g baby fennel 200g baby carrot 150g fine asparagus 100g baby courgette 150g baby leek 2 tbsp chopped dill
Method 1. First make the mayo. Put the garlic, egg, vinegar, mustard, salt and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor. Start blending, and then, with the motor going, very slowly dribble in the oil until you get a thick mayonnaise. Fold in the capers and lemon zest and set aside. 2. Wash the vegetables but don't trim them too much, so you're left with some stalks or leaves. Depending on their size, cut the vegetables lengthways in halves or quarters, trying to get them a similar size. 3. Put the wine in a wide pan and boil for two to three minutes. Add all the other poaching liquor ingredients and bring to a simmer. Add the fennel and carrot, then, after three minutes, the asparagus, courgette and leek, and cook for another three minutes. The vegetables should be cooked but still crunchy. Lift them from the broth and divide between four wide bowls. 4. Place a ladle of liquid around the vegetables, top with a dollop of mayonnaise and sprinkle with dill. Chill any leftover broth for later use.