Wish Upon A Dish: Marinated Vegetable Salad

August 31, 2012

Marinated Vegetable Salad

This is quite possibly the easiest salad to make and the best pop of flavor. The fact that you can keep 95% of it in the fridge for a few days, makes this a great GO TO when you need a quick side on those nights when you barely have time to make the meat.

This is the kind of salad that is really the vegetable side dish. I know everyone keeps a bag or container of greens in their fridge, whether it be baby spinach, a spring mix or a basic salad blend, they all work well with the vegetables.

My mom kept a large container of these marinated vegetables in our fridge all summer long. She would eat them with her sandwich at lunch, spoon them over a baked chicken breast, serve with fresh mozzarella, add them to croutons for a quick panzanella salad, and as they neared the end of their wonderful life, she would add them to boiled pasta and let the heat of the pasta warm them up. Serve with lots of cheese and dinner is served.

Smart woman, those mom's of ours. She called it being frugal, I call it genius. So much better than a jarred version, you can choose the vegetables you know your family will eat. There is no set vegetables you can use but there are four that I think are mandatory.

Tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion and olives. Since I always keep blue cheese or goat cheese in the fridge, the creamy cheese adds the ying to the yang of the vinegary vegetables. If you prefer Feta or Brie, go for it.

If you have red peppers, radishes, even day old bread, they all can be added. Throw in your leftover steamed broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus or even carrots. No need to throw them away, just start a marinated vegetable bowl.

Now, you can cheat and add a bottled vinaigrette but this wouldn't be much of a post if I did not include an easy but terrific homemade dressing. Even my dad, who does not like the bite some Italian dressings have, ate his whole plate.

Keep a cruet of this dressing on your refrigerator door and you will use it for everything. Best thing of all, it's extremely diabetic friendly, diet friendly and carb friendly.

Vegetable Salad Marinade
* 1/4 cup good EVOO
* 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar (white balsamic will work also)
* 1 tablespoon honey or Mirin
* salt & pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon Dijon
* 1 tablespoon mixed herbs (thyme, basil, parsley, chives)

Place in a bowl and add the tomato wedges, cucumber & red onion slices and chopped Kalamata or Picholine olives.

Lay a bed of greens on a plate and top with a large spoon of marinated vegetables.
Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
A loaf of crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

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