Looking for a cool vegetable salad recipe that can make a bunch or just enough and keep for a while in the refrigerator? This is it: marinated vegetable salad. I've made a gallon for a wedding reception over in Gulf Shores, Alabama this weekend. I'd provided the food for the bride's uncle's wedding several years ago. In a little community like Leakesville, you grow up knowing everybody. The father of the bride and his little brother were both in Mama's kindergarten; their mother is a class mate of Brother #1, their uncle a class mate of Brother #3. I'd line out all the other connections but it'd get confusing after a while. You might be tempted to make a Southern joke. The South doesn't need one more joke...
There's no specific recipe to this recipe. I'll show you what all is in this salad, but use what you and your family likes. It's quick to put together. So quick I forgot to show you all the veggies draining in the colander.
Here are the ingredients for the vinaigrette:
There's a ratio for a sweet and sour vinaigrette: equal amounts of sugar and vinegar and half as much oil as vinegar. And whatever herbs and spices your taste buds are set on. I like the bite of apple cider vinegar but there is such a thing as too much of it, so I use half white vinegar also. I've also been enjoying lightening up olive oil recipes with grapeseed oil but it's kind of pricey and is used sparingly. Celery seed and dill weed are always good in a salad but if you don't like them, don't use them, it's just that easy.
Put all the ingredients into a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup and microwave for three or four minutes. Stir and microwave again another couple of minutes. All you're doing is making sure the sugar is melted and incorporated.
I know. This is where I stand to ladle jelly into jars.
You can see splatters of jelly all over the front of
the microwave. I should probably clean that
In the meantime, open all your vegetables and put in a colander to drain. Asparagus is delicious in this, but I didn't add it. It's one of those acquired tastes that not everybody likes. Water chestnuts give a nice crunch, even if they aren't real flavorful. They're cut into thin strips to keep from having a mouthful of sort of tasteless crunchiness.
That's a sweet onion. I'd forgotten green onions
so used what was on hand.
MMMMmmmmm. Wickles: wickedly delicious pickles.
Or in this case wicked pepper strips. They're a little
hot and a lot sweet. More and more often they're
getting added to salads right along with
homemade sweet pickles.
When the vinaigrette is finished and onions (to taste) are diced, all the well drained vegetables are placed in a large container. Add the vinaigrette.
Tadadaaaaa! That's all there is to it!
Let it sit a couple of hours for the flavors to marry.
It's much better the next day and even MORE
better several days later (please don't call
the Grammar Police).
After I'd put the salad all together I thought about transporting it Saturday and the amount of room the gallon jug would take up in the cooler and having to leave the precious jug with the clients and depend upon them to get it back to me. The better thought was to put the salad into a large ziplock bag in a baking dish. Ziplock bags conform themselves around other things in coolers. I won't feel sad about leaving a bag behind...