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Italian Marinated Vegetable Salad
1 h 15 m
“This marinated vegetable salad recipe is a colorful composed salad inspired by the classic Italian giardiniera. Serve on a platter as is or on a bed of crisp greens. For a heartier appetizer or light lunch, add ½ cup each diced salami and hard cheese, such as Provolone or even white Cheddar, to the mix.”
1 large carrot, halved lengthwise and cut into ½-inch pieces
2 cups cauliflower florets ( ½ inch)
1 cup green bean pieces ( ½ inch)
1 small fennel bulb, halved, cored and thinly sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped ( ½ inch)
1 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped ( ½ inch)
2 fresh hot red peppers, such as cherry peppers or long Italian peppers, chopped ( ½ inch)
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
½ cup diced red onion
¾ cup cider vinegar
¾ cup white vinegar
½ cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon celery seed
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, minced
⅓ cup sliced green olives
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Place a large bowl of ice water next to the stove. Cook carrot, cauliflower and green beans in the boiling water, one vegetable at a time, until just tender, 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the ice water with a slotted spoon as they are done.
2Drain the vegetables and place in a large, shallow nonreactive bowl (see Tip). Add fennel, bell peppers, hot peppers, celery and onion.
3Combine cider vinegar, white vinegar, ½ cup water, sugar, salt, celery seed, basil and oregano in a nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 minutes. Pour the hot liquid over the vegetables and gently stir to coat. Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, then refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour. The longer the vegetables marinate, the more flavorful the salad will be.
4To serve, strain the vegetables (reserving the pickling liquid). Return the vegetables and 3 tablespoons of the pickling liquid to the bowl. (Reserve the remaining pickling liquid to pickle more vegetables or to use in a salad dressing, if desired.) Add garlic, olives, parsley, dill and oil to the vegetables; toss to combine. Season with pepper.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Be sure to use a nonreactive pan, baking dish or bowl—stainless-steel, enamel-coated or glass—when cooking with acidic food to prevent the food from reacting with the pan. Reactive pans, such as aluminum and cast-iron, can impart off colors and/or flavors.