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Onions a la Grecque

This French classic hors-d'oeuvre of baby onions provide an unusual first course.
The onions should be served chilled.

ingredients

serves 6
1 1/2 lb. small onions

sauce:

1 pint dry white wine
2 oz. caster sugar
5 tablespoons olive oil
8 juniper berries
Juice of a lemon
1 bay leaf
2 1/4 oz. tin of tomato paste
6 sprigs parsley
1/4 teaspoon basil
Salt and black pepper

GARNISH:
3 tablespoons chopped parsley

method

Bring a large saucepan, holding at least 3 pints of water, to the boil.

Cut the tops and bottoms from the onions and drop them into the boiling water for 1 minute.

Drain the onions in a colander; cool slightly before peeling the onions.

Put all the sauce ingredients, with 1/2 pint of water, into a heavy-based pan; season this sauce to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper before adding the peeled onions.

Bring to the boil and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes or until the onions are tender, but not disintegrating.

Remove the onions; mark the level of the sauce and boil briskly for about 15 minutes or until it has reduced to three-quarters.

Strain the sauce through a sieve over the onions; leave to cool and chill for a few hours in the refrigerator.

Serve the onions, in the sauce, in soup plates and garnish with the finely chopped parsley.

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