Light, refreshing and vegetarian take on antipasti

Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Vegetables make a colorful and healthy antipasti platter. (Matthew Mead ~ Associated Press)

An antipasti platter doesn't have to be a selection of cheese and fatty cured meats. You can make one from the many colors of the vegetable garden.

Marinating the vegetables brings out a host of flavors. Serve the vegetables with some rustic bread for sopping up the flavorful marinade.

Marinated Vegetables

The vegetables can be marinated either at room temperature or in the refrigerator. If in the refrigerator, allow the vegetables to come to room temperature before serving.

For the mushrooms:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

8 ounces white button mushrooms

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons white wine

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

For the asparagus:

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

Zest of 1 lemon

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

For the peppers:

1 yellow bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

2 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

Zest of 1/2 orange

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

For the tomatoes:

16 ounces cocktail tomatoes, halved

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

To prepare the mushrooms, in a large skillet over medium-high, heat the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and saute for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and wine. Remove from the heat and stir in the thyme and oregano. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside for 2 hours.

To make the asparagus, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Set a bowl of ice water next to the stove.

Add the asparagus to the boiling water and blanch for 3 to 4 minutes, or until just tender. Remove from the pot and set in the ice water just until cool. Drain well. In a shallow dish, combine the garlic, vinegar, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, oregano and zest. Season with salt and pepper, then add the asparagus. Toss to coat and allow to marinate for 2 hours.

To prepare the peppers, using a gas flame, a grill or a broiler, roast the peppers near the heat source until the skin blisters and turns black. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to allow the steam to loosen the skin. When the peppers are cool, rub the skin off. Seed and cut into strips.

In a medium bowl, combine the rosemary, vinegar, garlic and orange zest. Add the peppers, then season with salt and black pepper. Allow to marinate for 2 hours.

To make the tomatoes, in a medium bowl toss together all ingredients and allow to marinate for 2 hours.

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