Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Holiday Appetizer: Vegetable Antipasto

Continuing with my holiday appetizer suggestions, here's a longtime LaReau family favorite that my mom adapted from a Cooking Light recipe a few years ago. Here's what I love about this recipe:

You can make it a day ahead. Chop the vegetables the night before and store in a zip-top plastic bag. Prepare the marinade and store in a separate small Tupperware container . A couple of hours before go time, pour the marinade in the vegetable bag, mix things up a bit, and store in the fridge.

It's healthy. Very healthy, and colorful too!

It's much cooler than baby carrots and ranch dressing.

Vegetable Antipasto

3 c. (2-inch) sliced asparagus (about 3/4 lb.)
3 c. quartered mushrooms (3/4 lb.) [You could buy presliced to save time.]
Bell pepper strips from red, orange, and yellow peppers [one each]
4-5 sticks mozzarella string cheese, cut crosswise into bite-sized pieces
1 (14 oz.) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 small container grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise

1/3 c. cider vinegar
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
2 T. olive oil
2 t. dried oregano
1 T. sugar
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
3 cloves garlic

1)Steam asparagus for two minutes until bright green, yet still crisp. Cool.
2)Saute mushrooms in olive oil until cooked through. Cool.
3)Combine asparagus, mushrooms and other chopped vegetables in large bowl or zip-top bag.
4)To make marinade, combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a small bowl and stir with a whisk.
5)Pour marinade over vegetable mixture, tossing gently to mix.
6)Marinate in refrigerator for two hours; stir occasionally. Can be chilled or served at room temperature.


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