One of our favorite house guests came all the way from Egypt to visit for a few days. A gentle man, well-traveled and a deep thinker with many interesting stories to tell and a delightful guest, I planned ahead for simple meals so I could enjoy his company.
This was a winner make ahead salad recipe and was inspired by this basketful of goodies.
With a holiday weekend approaching, this Weekend Marinated Vegetable Salad is the ideal side whether you are hosting or guesting…it will feed a crowd once or a small group for a few days. However, it’s easily cut in half to prepare for a family dinner.
The little bit of time it takes to make this salad ahead is so worth having time later to enjoy your guests. Before you begin blanching the veggies, get them all prepped.
Have an ice water bath ready for cooling them quickly.
Once they are blanched, cooled and drained, mix together in large bowl adding red pepper and onion.
The first time served, I reserved 1/4 cup of the dressing to marinate a salmon filet for the barbecue. Just add sliced watermelon and you have a complete meal.
You’ll notice the flavor improves with time. The remainder of the salad can be served as a side for subsequent meals or ready to grab for a quick snack.
Enjoy what’s left of our summer!
Weekend Marinated Vegetable Salad (serves 12)
1 large head cauliflower separated into bite size florets (8 cups)
2 cups yellow summer squash, sliced in half lengthwise then into 1/4 inch half moons
2 cups zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise then into 1/4 inch half moons
1 1/2 cups carrots, sliced in half lengthwise then into 1/4 inch half moons
1 cup trimmed green beans kept whole
1/2 red pepper, quartered, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced half moons
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
3 large cloves garlic crushed
1 tablespoon dried dill
2 teaspoon spicy mustard
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Bring a large stock pot of water to boil. While waiting for it to boil prepare a large ice water bath and set it by the stove.
Once boiling, add the cauliflower and set your timer for 3 minutes. Remove quickly with a long-handled colander and submerge in ice water bath to cool. Let cool 2 -3 minutes. Place in a large colander to drain. Set aside.
Bring water back to boil and refresh ice water bath with more ice. Blanch the chopped carrots and green beans the same way but only let cook for 2 minutes. Repeat process of refreshing ice water bath and boiling water for the summer squashes, blanching all 4 cups together. These only need 1 minute, no more. Cool in ice water bath for 2 minutes. Let all veggies drain in a colander over a small pan to catch excess water for 30 minutes, giving them a shake occasionally to help the process. (Don’t discard blanching water. Let it cool and freeze for later use in soup stock.)
While they are draining, make the dressing. Combine all ingredients for dressing except olive oil in a blender, or in a wide mouth quart size canning jar using an immersion blender. Slowly drizzle oil in while blending.
Set aside 1/4 cup dressing. Use it to marinade a salmon filet, if applicable.
Combine all of the veggies including red pepper and sliced onion in a large bowl. Pour remainder of dressing over the vegetables. Add chopped parsley and toss well. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed before serving. Keeps well for a week and flavor improves with time.