Italian Marinated Vegetable Salad

May/June 2014

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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 1/2 cup each diced salami and hard cheese, such as Provolone or even white Cheddar, to the mix.

Italian Marinated Vegetable Salad

Makes: 8 servings

Serving Size: 1 cup

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 1 large carrot, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets (1/2 inch)
  • 1 cup green bean pieces (1/2 inch)
  • 1 small fennel bulb, halved, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (1/2 inch)
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped (1/2 inch)
  • 2 fresh hot red peppers, such as cherry peppers or long Italian peppers, chopped (1/2 inch)
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 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


  1. Bring 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.
  2. Drain the vegetables and place in a large, shallow nonreactive bowl (see Tip). Add fennel, bell peppers, hot peppers, celery and onion.
  3. Combine cider vinegar, white vinegar, 1/2 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.
  4. To 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.

Tips & Notes

  • 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.


Per serving: 86 calories; 5 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 4 g total sugars; 2 g protein; 3 g fiber; 166 mg sodium; 382 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (157% daily value), Vitamin A (49% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 1 fat

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