Growing up, my family didn't eat a lot of junk food. Sure, McDonald's was a special treat after a Saturday afternoon baseball game, but there wasn't a lot of sugary snacks in my household. Our splurge cereal was Honeynut Cheerios. I had to slip out to the neighbor's house for the sweet stuff that we salivated over while watching the commercials during week-end cartoons.
My mom managed to find a way for us to have plenty of items to snack on that wouldn't send us on a sugar high, only to come crashing down an hour later. One of the things that she always made, and we always happily reached for, were marinated vegetables. She'd make an enormous vat of it, and when we'd whine, what can I have to eat, she'd direct us to the big bowl of colorful veggies.
Normally veggies can be a tough sell for kids, but the vinegar, and just a little sugar, adds sweetness to a spiced, crunchy snack, that's not only good for you, but also tastes good.
I've had this recipe for over 2 decades, and it's hand-written on a small piece of paper that is now stained with oil and vinegar. I don't know who gets the original credit for the recipe, so I'll just say thanks to my mom, for keeping us happy and healthy. Substitute your favorite vegetable in this salad, but make sure it's hearty enough to withstand a little heat and sitting in a marinade overnight. The broccoli I included in the pictured batch will go a little limp after a day or two, so eat quickly, or leave it out. Hopefully you'll enjoy a bowl of these this summer with your family and friends.
Cold Marinated Vegetables
1 ½ cups red wine vinegar
1 ½ cups water
½ cup oil
1 Tablespoon sugar (optional)
4 minced garlic cloves
2 teaspoons dry oregano
1 teaspoon dry basil
¼ cup fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Head of cauliflower
A red onion
1 bag of carrots
2 cans of black olives
Combine red wine vinegar, water, vegetable oil, sugar, garlic cloves, oregano, basil, parsley, salt and pepper in a large stock pot.
Cut cauliflower in small florets and place in stock pot.
Peel and cut the onion and carrots into bite size pieces and add to the pot.
Drain the olives and add to the mix.
Cover the pot and heat on medium for approximately 5 minutes.
When it comes to a simmer, stir and remove from heat. Vegetable texture should be firm, but not hard.
Cool and then place in the refrigerator overnight.