Poaching Veg

Poaching veg briefly in spiced liquors shows off their delicate flavours. Learn the technique, then get experimenting.


  • Fruit & Veg
  • Stock
  • Herbs & spices

Over to you… Tell us about your poaching adventures on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with #schoolofveg or email us at schoolofveg@abelandcole.co.uk

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1. How? Tip your chosen liquid and aromatics for your liquor into a large, wide pot. You'll need approximately 500ml liquid for 700g of veg.
2. Bring to a bubble and simmer over a low heat for 10 mins so all the flavours infuse.
3. Prep your veg/fruit. Keep them as whole as possible, but small enough that they'll still be crisp after being poached. Avoid veg that may discolour your liquor, like beetroot (Chioggia is fine), PSB and red cabbage.
4. Drop your chosen veg/ fruit into the poaching liquor. Season well.
5. Bring back to a simmer and cook till the veg/fruit is soft with a slight crunch.
6. Add more liquid if necessary.
7. Then? Lift the veg out of the pan with a slotted spoon and serve in shallow bowls with a little poaching liquor. A great starter, side or main with chunks of bread and herby crème fraîche. Poached fruit is a brilliant dessert or breakfast with yogurt and granola.
8. Pairings to try: French Kissed Veg Liquor: a 50/50 mix of white wine and water + a few peppercorns, a handful of fresh herbs (thyme, bay, tarragon, parsley), a sliced shallot and/or garlic clove. Veg: Thinly sliced carrots + fennel + asparagus. Poach gently in the liquor for 5-10 mins.
9. Bombay Bathed Veg Liquor: Veg stock + 1 tbsp cumin seeds + 1 tbsp coriander seeds + a thumb grated turmeric + 1 halved chilli + 1 sliced garlic clove. Veg: Romanesco cauliflower florets + baby leeks/spring onions + sliced carrots + sliced shallots. Poach for 10 mins.
10. Pineapple’d Veg Rainbow Liquor: Pineapple juice + 1 sliced chilli + handful coriander stalks +1 sliced lime. Veg: Sliced Chioggia beetroot + quartered carrots + sliced celery. Poach for 10 mins.
11. Gingered Rhubarb Liquor: Ginger beer + 2 sliced oranges + 2 star anise + vanilla pod + squeeze of honey or agave syrup. Veg: Rhubarb cut into finger sized lengths. Poach gently for 5 mins till just tender.
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