Mixed Vegetables a la Grecque

This is my number one vegetarian dish. It makes an excellent lunch served with a brown rice salad with a herb vinaigrette, but mostly I serve it as a starter on crisp lettuce leaves with crusty bread to dip into the juices. You can, of course, vary the vegetables.

Serves 2-4

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course.

Mixed Vegetables a la Grecque
 1 medium onion, finely chopped
 1 fat clove garlic, crushed
 1 lb (450 g) tomatoes, skinned and quartered, or 1 x 14 oz (400 g) tin Italian tomatoes
 6 button onions, peeled
 4 oz (110 g) cauliflower, broken into 1 inch (2.5 cm) florets
 4 oz (110 g) small to medium mushrooms, halved
 4 tablespoons olive oil
 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
 1 level teaspoon dried oregano
 1 heaped teaspoon whole coriander seeds, crushed
 8 black peppercorns, lightly crushed
 juice 1 medium lemon
 2 fl oz (55 ml) water, mixed with 1 heaped teaspoon tomato purée
 2 oz (50 g) dry weight kidney beans, soaked and cooked
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
To serve:
 2 level tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
 2 spring onions (including green tops), finely chopped


Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy-based pan and soften the chopped onion for 5 minutes. Then add the garlic, wine vinegar, tomatoes, oregano, coriander, peppercorns, lemon juice, water and tomato purée mixture and some salt. Bring to the boil and stir in the button onions.

Now cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes. Then add the cooked and drained kidney beans, the cauliflower and mushrooms, cover the pan again and simmer for a further 20 minutes, stirring the vegetables round once or twice during the cooking time.

After 20 minutes, test the vegetables with a skewer – they should be tender but still firm. Taste and check the seasoning. Pour the contents of the pan into a shallow dish and leave to cool. I think this dish is best left overnight but a few hours will do. To serve, sprinkle the vegetables with the rest of the olive oil, then scatter the chopped parsley and spring onions on top.

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