This past week has been very busy for me at work.  Usually I will pack a lunch with me, which I did this particular day.  I ended up working an extra 3 hours this day which I had not anticipated, so I stopped by a deli to buy a vegetable salad. was awful.  Big chunks of raw broccoli, cauliflower, and red pepper.  I thought I can do better than this, and so -  here it is.
One thing I did was to very lightly blanch the broccoli, carrots, green and yellow beans.  They were still vibrant, with good crunch...but now they were no longer rock hard, and as a result absorbed the dressing much more nicely.  So much better in my humble opinion.  All of these vegetables came from our local Organic Farmer's market....super fresh and organic will always make a huge difference to any recipe.
3 1/2 cups of vegetables - I used broccoli, carrots, green and yellow beans - sliced
2 diced celery stalks
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 large garlic clove finely minced
18 English Shelling Peas
2 big Tblsp. finely minced fresh Basil
4 1/2 Tblsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tblsp. White Vinegar
3 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tblsp. Dried Greek Oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste
Here is a picture of the sliced vegetables for a light blanching:
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  First add in the broccoli stems and carrots - blanch 1 minute.  Then add in the broccoli florets and blanch 1 minute.  Then add in the yellow and green beans and blanch 1 more minute.  Drain, and add the vegetables to an ice bath.  Allow to sit for five minutes.  They will still be nice and vibrant, and have some good crunch.  Then allow to drain until dry.
Meanwhile, chop up the red onion, celery, minced fresh Basil and minced garlic adding to a bowl.  In another bowl whisk together the Rice Wine Vinegar, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, white Vinegar, Greek Oregano, salt and pepper.
Add the blanched vegetables to the bowl, with the shelled English peas.  Pour over the dressing, tossing to coat well.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours so all of the flavors can come together.  I tossed the salad a few times throughout the marinating time.  A great salad to accompany any summer time meal.

Ina Gawne


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August 29, 2012