04 June 2014

Poached Vegetables with Caper Dijon Mayo

So it was just my first weekend back home in Scotland for 4 weeks on holiday, happy times indeed. There will be many catch ups with friends & family & of course there will be lots of eating! I will likely be rolling off the plane when I get back to New Zealand at the end of the month! So Sunday came around & it was time to cook & enjoy a Sunday roast.  This time around pork with crispy crackling, gravy & apple sauce.  On the side freshly dug Ayrshire new potatoes, these delicious little spuds just need roughly scrubbed clean, boiled & a little salt & butter.  They are perfect as they are & need no embellishments.  

And you’ve got to have some vegetables.   As I am now in the northern hemisphere I get a bonus season of asparagus so there had to be asparagus!  Yes, so excited to get an extra few weeks of these delectable green spear.  I love them every which way, but today going Ottolenghi inspired with spring vegetables poached in white wine, olive oil & lemon juice along side some herbs & then topped with a caper & Dijon mayo concoction. Plus there were some freshly podded peas. Oh how lovely it is to be getting a second round of all these Summer vegetables.

Poached Vegetables with Caper Dijon Mayo, adapted slightly from the as ever wonderful Ottolenghi

*Fennel, baby leeks, broccolini & even a few fresh peas would all be welcome additions


Serves 4-6 as a side dish depending on your level of love for vegetables

2 carrots, peeled & cut in to batons
1 handful green beans, top & tailed
1 bunch asparagus, any woody stems removed
1 zucchini, cut in to batons
2 tbsp dill fronds

Poaching liquid
600ml white wine
200ml olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
2 bay leaves
1 small onion, peeled & halved
2 sticks of celery, cut in to batons
1 tsp salt

Caper Dijon Mayo
1/2 a cup good quality mayonnaise
3/4 tsp Dijon mustard
Juice of half a lemon
2 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
Pinch salt


Start with the mayo; place all the ingredients in a bowl & mix them all together. Season & taste & if need be add a little more Dijon, lemon juice or salt.  Cover & place in the fridge until ready to serve.

Pour the wine in to a large saucepan & bring to a boil, lower the heat & simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Add all the other ingredients for the poaching liquid & bring to a simmer. Add the carrots & the beans to the pot & simmer for 3 minutes. Then add the asparagus & zucchini & poach for 3-4 minutes more.  We want the vegetables still bright & a little crunchy.

Remove the vegetables with a large slotted spoon & place on a serving platter.  Spoon over a drizzle of the poaching liquid & scatter over the dill fronds. Serve with the mayo on the side. Pile some veg on your plate, top with a dollop of mayo & enjoy.

These are wonderfully bright & light vegetables, the lemon really brightening them up & the dill delivering a lovely slightly aniseedy note.  Then there’s that mayo, the tang of Dijon & the briney capers the perfect companion for these poached vegetables, actually the perfect companion for lots, it is quite the friendly condiment & quite moreish.

If you like this you might like this Grilled Vegetables with Lemon Cumin Yoghurt & Dukkah
One year ago Swiss Chard Fritter
Two years ago Pork Rillettes
Three years ago Braised Lamb Shanks



  1. Makes me wish for spring - here at the bottom of the world we are just entering winter - I love Ottolenghi and his recipes.

    1. Oh I know Rachel….it was great to get a second spring / summer….sadly now back to kiwi winter!

  2. Have a lovely trip home Mairi!

    1. Thanks Lesley, it was such a fantastic trip…& sunny & summery!!


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