Looking for a healthy and different way to serve vegetables at a buffet over the holidays? This recipe for Zesty Marinated Vegetables is quite unique. It consists of nutritious and colorful vegetables — carrots, bell peppers, cauliflower and turnips — that are marinated in a curry, sweet and sour dressing. You might not think of combining these vegetables — much less serving them at a holiday meal — but that’s part of the appeal. Served cold as an appetizer, they are quite tasty.
I’m not sure where this recipe originated from. When I was growing up, my mother liked to experiment with different recipes — I really liked the salad and have saved it all these years stashed away in my “old recipe file.” The colorful vegetables make an attractive presentation. Plus the curry flavor along with the sweet and sour dressing balances these strong flavored vegetables.
Health benefits of recipe’s vegetables
You probably can’t find another combination of low calorie and nutritious vegetables — cauliflower, turnips, bell peppers and carrots. Turnips are actually a member of the cruciferous vegetable family related to Brussels sprouts, kale and broccoli. It contains high levels of antioxidants and phytochemicals and is high in fiber and low in calories. Cauliflower is also a cruciferous vegetable with many of the same benefits as turnips — it contains phytochemicals which have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties as well as many vitamins and minerals. Carrots provide beta-carotene and and bell peppers are rich in both Vitamin C and beta-carotene. So this is a mouthful of healthy eating!
Making the recipe
This recipe is quite easy to prepare. Simply chop the vegetables in interesting shapes — carrot coins, bell pepper strips, small cauliflower florets, diced turnips and then steam or blanch them until they are tender-crisp. This just takes a few minutes — not more than 3 to 5 minutes. Drain the vegetables well, then cool to room temperature.
Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a container with a screw lid — shake well to combine. Then pour over the vegetables and gently toss. Chill several hours or overnight, stirring occasionally.
Transfer to an attractive platter and serve. I’ve never seen another recipe like this one. As I said, it is certainly different and unique; in this world of “healthy eating”, this recipe fits right in. Enjoy!
Zesty Marinated Vegetables
- 3 – 6 medium carrots, pared and sliced (1 cup sliced)
- 2 medium or 1 large turnip, pared and diced (2 cups diced)
- 1 small bell pepper, cut into strips (1/2 cup to 1 cup strips)
- 1 small cauliflower, broken into florets (6 loose cups)
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup salad oil
- 2 tsp. curry powder
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Method and Steps:
- In medium sauce pan, combined prepared vegetables, water and salt. Bring to boiling, cover and simmer 5 minutes or until tender crisp. Do not over-cook.
- Removed from heat, drain and cool. Transfer to non-metal bowl.
- In screw-top jar, combine sugar, apple cider vinegar, salad oil, curry powder and pepper. Screw top tightly and shake vigorously.
- Pour curry dressing over vegetables, toss lightly. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight, stirring vegetable mixture occasionally.
NOTE: Amounts of vegetables may be varied to suit your taste.