The 14th of July is Bastille Day. While I enjoyed how we celebrated last year, I wanted to find some new ways for us to celebrate this year. In all my Googling, one of the things that caught my eye was a recipe suggested by Bon Appétit® for Marinated Summer Vegetables.
This colorful vinegar and oil salad served at room temperature is delicious at home but would also travel well for a picnic, as it is free from salad dressing or mayonnaise. However, although this is a summer salad, it does require roasting/ baking the vegetables. If you live somewhere where it is hot, I suggest you either roast the vegetables first thing in the morning, during the coolest part of the day, or, alternatively, cook them in your grill. Coincidentally, on Bastille Day here this year, the day ended up being relatively cool, so I ended up baking these in the oven.
One of the keys to this recipe, both for eye appeal and nutrition, is the colorful variety of vegetables — I used green zucchini, yellow summer squash, red bell pepper, and orange bell pepper.
The recipe that inspired me calls for three squash (zucchini and/or summer squash) and three colored bell peppers. To scale back the recipe, I used just one zucchini and one summer squash and two bell peppers. The original recipe says to skin the peppers once they’re roasted, but hubby and I decided that was just removing some yummy roasted flavor, as well as adding labor, and so I left the skins on. Also, me being me, I used less oil, of course. Additionally, because our homegrown oregano is doing so well, I simply stripped the leaves from several stems of oregano and stirred it all into the salad, as well.
Don’t or can’t do bell peppers? Don’t worry. Making this yourself, you can use whatever vegetable combination you like — just keep in mind that the more colorful the salad is, the more flavorful and nutritious it will be. Other yummy vegetables for this salad might include sliced eggplant, fresh green beans, fresh wax beans, asparagus, cauliflower, red onion — scope out your produce section or farmer’s market and see what looks good to you! Just remember that vegetables should be in bite-size pieces and that vegetables of different densities and size may need to bake for a longer or shorter period of time.
Whatever vegetables you use, and whether or not you include bell peppers, this yummy and nutritious salad will be the Belle of the Ball. 🙂
Marinated Summer Vegetables (Serves 4, easy to adjust up and down)
- 1 zucchini
- 1 yellow squash
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 orange bell pepper
- (See also suggestions for vegetables above)
- Fresh oregano leaves to taste (I used 4 sprigs)
- Olive oil (Could use canola if you prefer)
- Salt and pepper to taste (I used coarse ground sea salt and coarse ground black pepper)
- Red wine vinegar to taste
- Garlic cloves to taste (couple cloves worth)
- Place one rack in upper third of your oven and the other rack in the lower third. Preheat to 475F. (Yeah, I know. That’s hot. And in the SUMMER, too!)
- Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil (makes for easier cleanup). Lightly spritz with oil or cooking spray.
- Slice squash on the diagonal in 1/3″ to 1/2″ thick slices. Place in a disposable plastic bag, drizzle lightly with a small amount of oil, and shake in bag. Spread in single layer on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper.
- Core and de-seed peppers; cut into 1″ or so chunks (as you would for stir-fry). Place in disposable plastic bag (use the same one you used for squash), drizzle lightly with a small amount of oil, and shake in bag. Spead in a single layer on the other baking sheet, skin side up. Season with salt and pepper.
- Roast peppers on upper rack and squash on lower rack until tender, 15 – 20 minutes. Turn squash half-way through.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together 2 or 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic cloves, and salt and pepper to taste. Add in vegetables while still warm (but not piping hot) and also oregano leaves; toss gently to coat.
- Cover and let rest for an hour or so before serving.
- Refrigerate leftovers; bring to room temperature before serving.