Spring Has Sprung: Marinated Green Vegetables with
Olive Oil & Vinegar
The herbs are here... Fresh sage and basil leaves are all mine. I admit it. I never have used fresh herbs and I'm blushing as I write the truth. But tonight, I'm going to make a simple vegetable dish and use my own fresh herbs which are basking in the warm spring sunshine on the deck (radiating strong memories of the sweet, soulful song Here Comes the Sun).
In The Healing Powers of Vinegar I include a recipe that can make basic vegetables healthier and tastier. I am adapting this treasure with a few more ingredients: carrots and Parmesan cheese. (A while ago, I did purchase a grater and now indulge in fresh gourmet cheese whenever a recipe calls for a touch of extra flavor and texture.)
A decade ago, when I lived in a Mediterranean-style bungalow on the peninsula in San Carlos, California, I'd often go to Salvatore's restaurant. As I say over and over again, I'm not a foodie but I adore fine food. I'd often order warm French bread, grilled salmon, marinated green vegetables, a baked potato (with fresh chives), and a cup or two of hot herbal tea.
Sure, this veggie recipe is simple but full of the good stuff and good for the season.
After all, spring is time to detox your body. It's a time to rejoice in the season of renewal and energize yourself with more exercise, less food. It's a time to shed a couple of extra pounds and eat more fresh, healthful foods rich in disease-fighting antioxidants. It's a time to nourish your body, spirit, and soul. So, here is a jump-start diet recipe with fresh ingredients that can do all that and more.
One more thing. And when you taste that first bite? Be ready to savor a zesty and intense flavor of earthy springtime veggies. Yes, you'll get hooked. Buon Appetito!
Marinated Green Vegetables
1 pound broccoli florets
1 pound asparagus, fresh spears
2 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 pound zucchini, fresh and firm
1/2 pound carrots, fresh and firm
2 fresh sage leaves, chopped
into 1/2-inch strips
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced thin
a pinch of salt
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup red wine vinegar
Blanch broccoli in salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove and set aside. Blanch asparagus spears in same water for 1 minute or less Set aside. Wash zucchini in cold water and cut into 1/4-inch strips about 3 inches long. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a skillet and saute the zucchini strips over high heat until a little color is attained. Do not cook until limp. Use as little oil as possible. Remove while stil al dente (firm to the bite). Set aside. In the same skillet, add more oil if needed and saute the sliced onion until brown. Add the garlic, chopped basil, chopped sage, and pinch of salt. Before the garlic turns brown, add the vinegar, bring to a boil, and then reduce until there is just a little liquid left in the pan. Combine the set-aside green vegetabls and pour the onion, garlic, and vinegar mixture over them. Toss to flavor all pieces. Sprinkle fresh Parmesan cheese on top. Serve at room temperature or save for later service. Serves 8 to 10.
(Recipe by Chef Salvatore J. Campagna)