Pronunciation: [noo-vehl kwee-ZEEN]
A French term meaning "new cooking," referring to a culinary style, begun in the early 1970s, that moved away from the rich, heavy style of classic French cuisine toward fresher, lighter food served in smaller portions. The sauces are lighter because they're reduced instead of being thickened with flour. Nouvelle cuisine vegetables are quickly cooked and therefore are tender yet slightly crisp.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.