garden inspiration: marinated vegetable salad

I spent my morning visiting my neighbourhood community garden. It was the annual plant sale, and while I only picked up a few free pots for my balcony, I found the whole visit very inspiring. The gardens were in full bloom and everything looked and smelled amazing. Although I’ve been there many times, it seemed to be extra beautiful this morning.

When I got home I decided that while I can’t replicate the colourful gardens on my own small apartment balcony, I could at least carry through the bright colours onto my dinner plate. I found an assortment of vegetables that would do the trick. I chopped up thinly the purple onion, the bright red carrots and the remainder of the jumbo carrot that I had found in Chinatown last week. I also had 2 crowns of broccoli. I have to admit that I’m not a fan of raw broccoli. It tastes too green, too crunky. So I did what I always do to broccoli, I blanched it quickly and then cooled it quickly under cold running water. It’s like raw, only awesome! I mixed up a quick balsamic marinade and then tossed everything together. I kept it in the fridge for only 2 hours or so, tossing it when I remembered to. The results of the marinating? Yum! It made for a very tangy and flavourful salad filled with all the bright colours of the gardens that inspired it. Don’t have the vegetables that I used? Don’t worry. This salad can take a bit of play….use what you’ve got!

Everything in this salad tastes bright and crisp and fresh and the slightly sweet and tangy dressing helped to keep everything in check. We ate this salad as a side to some barbecued hot dogs for our lazy Sunday night dinner. Want to make a meal out of it? Throw in some chickpeas or top with feta cheese and serve with french bread and you’ve got something truly spectacular.

13 comments to “garden inspiration: marinated vegetable salad”

  1. 1
    VeggieGirl   July 14, 2008 at 5:35 am

    It’s always fun when I visit to a vegetable garden results in a delectable salad :0)

  2. 2
    Bijoux   July 14, 2008 at 7:25 am

    This dressing sounds spectacular!! Can’t wait to try it. I also made your creamy Asian slaw yesterday and it was incredible!!!

  3. 3
    Anne Stesney   July 14, 2008 at 11:25 am

    I’m always inspired by gardens as well. Your salad looks beautiful. The hot dog looks yummy too!

  4. 4
    ~Molly~   July 14, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Yummo! Wish I had seen this yesterday early, we had a cook-out and this would have been perfect with our smoked brats and burgers. Definitely a next-time deal though, it looks smacktabulous!


  5. 5
    [eatingclub] vancouver || js   July 14, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Love the salad! Looks like summer on a plate.

  6. 6
    jen   July 15, 2008 at 4:33 am

    Yum! Crunchy and tangy – I’m definitely up for some of this! Perfect for the summer we’re starting to have 🙂

  7. 7
    cookinpanda   July 15, 2008 at 5:12 am

    This is so simple and healthy. It’s the perfect summer vegetable salad. And it’s a great way to use up leftover veggies too.

  8. 8
    eatme_delicious   July 15, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Yum I’ve been thinking recently that I need to make simple vegetable salads like this for my afternoon snack. I’m getting sick of just eating raw plain veggies!

  9. 9
    kickpleat   July 15, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    thanks veggiegirl!

    bijoux, it’s pretty tasty. glad you loved the asian slaw…it’s a good one!

    thanks annie!

    molly, yup, smacktabulous indeed 🙂

    thanks eatingclub, it is summer on a plate!

    yay for summer, jen!

    cookinpanda, it is great for those leftover veggies in the crisper!

    eatme, this would definitely add a bit of tang to your carrot sticks!

    eb? yes. yum.

    helene, i want a big beautiful garden and hopefully will have one one day!

  10. 10
    EB   July 15, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Is yum a proper response? I think so.

  11. 11
    Helene   July 15, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    I was raised with a garden. I love them. Nice salad.

  12. 12
    Elbowgrease   July 22, 2008 at 5:38 am

    I am with you on raw broccoli! I love just about everything so it make me feel like less of a food lover to admit but….

  13. 13
    kickpleat   July 24, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    elbowgrease, don’t feel bad…i’m right there with you!

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