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Vegetable Salad with Rosemary Vinaigrette

Vegetable Salad with Rosemary Vinaigrette
Yield:  Salad: 8-10 servings / Dressing: About 2 cups
Cook Time:   About 4-5 minutes (to steam vegetables to tender-crisp)
Tips:   Cherry or grape tomatoes may be used.
Suggestion:   Delicious served as a side to most any lunch or dinner main course, along with a side of bread. Also perfect served as a cold summer salad!
Looking for a new way to serve vegetables? This easy healthy vegetable salad recipe features tender-crisp vegetables that are marinated overnight in a homemade salad dressing that brings these colorful vegetables to life! The tangy and delicious salad dressing (Rosemary Vinaigrette) is made with oil and red wine vinegar, chopped garlic cloves, dried rosemary and paprika with a little sugar and salt. When you're ready to serve the salad, more of the Rosemary Vinaigrette is served on the side so your guests
can drizzle a little more salad dressing over their salads for an additional boost of tanginess and flavor. This vegetable salad recipe features broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, zucchini slices, chayote squash wedges, julienned carrots, halved cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes) and black olives. (Tip: Chayote is a Mexican squash that is light green in color and has a pear shape.) All the vegetables (except the tomatoes and olives) are briefly steamed to a tender-crisp, then marinated with some of the Rosemary Vinaigrette overnight. The remaining salad dressing is also refrigerated overnight, giving the flavors time to blend together. Steaming the vegetables just long enough to cook them to a tender-crisp state gives the vegetables in this salad the perfect amount of crunch, while the tenderized texture releases their flavor and makes them easier to chew and digest. This delicious marinated vegetable salad is the perfect alternative to serving hot cooked vegetables, and is great served for both lunch and dinner, and is also perfect served as a cold summer salad!.



  • Rosemary Vinaigrette
  • 1 1/2 cups oil (vegetable or olive)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon crushed dried rosemary leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, split in half lengthwise
  • salt to taste

  • Vegetable Salad
  • 1 chayote, peeled
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 1 cauliflower, quartered and main stem removed
  • 1/2 bunch broccoli, quartered and main stem removed
  • 2-3 zucchini
  • 1 pint cherry (or grape) tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup black olives, drained
  • Rosemary Dressing (recipe follows)


Rosemary Vinaigrette
Combine the oil, vinegar, sugar, paprika, rosemary and garlic in a small mixing bowl (or jar). Season to taste with salt, then whisk (or if using a jar, shake vigorously) until fully blended. Cover salad dressing and place in refrigerator while preparing the vegetables.

Vegetable Salad

Bring about 1 inch of water in a large saucepan to a boil. Place the peeled chayote squash (whole), peeled carrots (whole), whole zucchinis, quartered broccoli and quartered cauliflower on a vegetable steamer in the saucepan over the boiling water. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook for about 4-5 minutes just until vegetables reach a tender-crisp state. Note: Some vegetables may cook faster than others, so you will likely need to remove some vegetables before others. It is important to not overcook the vegetables! You will likely remove the tender-crisp vegetables in the following order:

  • broccoli florets
  • cauliflower florets
  • zucchini
  • carrots
  • chayote
While vegetables are steaming, prepare a large bowl of ice water to immediately chill the vegetables after steaming. This will stop the cooking process quickly.

Test the vegetables by piercing them half-way through with a sharp steak knife. If you are able to pierce them fairly easily though they still feel firm, they are ready to remove from the saucepan and immerse into the ice water. Watch your vegetables closely, as each vegetable will become ready shortly after the preceding vegetable you removed. Each time you remove a vegetable, cover the saucepan again.

Once the vegetables are chilled, pour them into a colander and allow to drain thoroughly. Transfer vegetables to a cutting board. Cut broccoli and cauliflower into bite-size florets. Cut carrots in half, then julienne carrots using a julienne peeler. Slice zucchini into 1/8-inch-thick rings (or slightly thicker if you prefer). Slice chayote in half, then remove narrow core and cut chayote into 1/8-inch-thick (or slightly thicker) wedges.

Transfer vegetables and olives (tomatoes will be added later) to a large mixing bowl and lightly toss. Remove the Rosemary Vinaigrette from the refrigerator and quickly whisk again. Pour one-half of the dressing over the vegetables and gently toss again. Cover and refrigerate vegetables overnight. Cover and referigerate reserved salad dressing overnight as well.

When ready to serve, add the halved cherry (or grape) tomatoes to the vegetables and gently toss to combine. Arrange the vegetables on a large platter or individual serving plates. Serve with additional Rosemary Vinaigrette on the side. (Alternatively, remaining salad dressing can be tossed into to the vegetables rather than served on the side).

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