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Onion and Carrot Salad 'a la Grecque'

In cooking, a la Grecque means "in the Greek style" and usually refers to food that is served in a sauce made of olive oil, lemon juice, and seasonings such as fennel, coriander, sage, or thyme.  The following recipe is derived from one originally published by Jacques Pepin.  I like this as a summer or fall salad, since it is best when made with freshly harvested vegetables.  Vidalia onions can be substituted if you prefer a milder flavor.  Also, you can omit the lemon juice and just use 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar.

A good olive oil that you would use for cooking can be used for the first 1/3 cup, but you might use a finer, fruitier olive oil for the finish.

Onion and Carrot Salad a la Grecque

  1/2 c Dry White Wine
2   tbsp   Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
2   tbsp   White Wine Vinegar, or to taste
  1/2 c Water
  1/3 c Olive Oil
  1/2 tsp   Whole Black Peppercorns
1   tsp Coriander Seeds
  1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
  1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
2   tsp Salt
Whole Bay Leaves
  1/4 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 1/2 lb White Onions (6 to 8 medium)
1   lb Carrots (6 or 7 large)
  1/4 c Olive Oil, to finish
  1. Julienne the carrots into sticks about 2" X 3/8" square (5 cm X 1 cm square).
  2. Peel the onions, and then cut each lengthwise into 8 segments (like an orange).
  3. Bring the wine, lemon juice, vinegar, water, ⅓ cup of olive oil and all of the spices to a gentle boil in a large saucepan.
  4. Add the carrots and cook, covered, for 6 minutes.
  5. Add the onions and cook, covered, until the vegetables just start to soften, about 3 or 4 more minutes.
  6. Allow to cool to room temperature and then transfer to a non-reactive container and refrigerate for at least one day or up to a week.
  7. Just before serving, stir in the last ¼ cup of olive oil.

Accompany with fresh bread and a glass of the same wine that was used in making the salad.

Note that since most of the liquid remains in the serving dish, this recipe is less oily than it seems.

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