Christmas entertaining has always been one of those special times in my family. From the time I was little I remember my mother preparing for one of her special holiday parties. The night before the party I would get to help her prepare. Mom always believed in preparing things ahead. “That way I can enjoy the people, not spend the time in my kitchen.”
One of the easy appetizers she made was a marinated vegetable tray. I’d get to toss the vegetables in the marinade and put them in the refrigerator. The next day after school, I’d arrange the vegetables on the special holly serving platter. I still have the platter today and always arrange the vegetables in colorful circles.
My mother had a set of stacking pyrex containers she’d use for marinating the vegetables. Today I use gallon size ziplock freezer bags. Make sure they’re zipped tight and just stack them in the refrigerator. The marinade will work its magic overnight.
Vegetables You’ll Need:
Whole fresh mushrooms (1 pint of bite size mushrooms)
1/2-3/4 pound of baby carrots
1 long skinny zucchini-sliced
1 head of broccoli broken into flowerettes
1 jar of artichoke hearts, drained and cut into bite size pieces
1/2 pint of grape tomatoes (this is my addition to the recipe)
1 small head of a colorful leafy lettuce (used for garnish)
1 1/4 cup of olive oil
1 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of dry mustard (can substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons of prepared spicy mustard)
4 teaspoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of tarragon
3/4 teaspoon of pepper
Wash the vegetables and pat dry.
Slice the zucchini into thin round slices.
Break the broccoli into bite size flowerettes.
Drain the artichoke hearts and cut into bite size pieces.
In a large glass or plastic bowl mix all the marinade ingredients. Don’t use a metal bowl as the marinade can interact with the metal. This will cause an off taste to your marinade.
Make sure the marinade ingredients are well mixed. You don’t want the garlic on just one group of vegetables or mustard tasting broccoli. So mix well.
Place the vegetables into 6 separate containers with lids or use gallon ziplock freezer bags. Divide the marinade among the 6 containers. Lightly shake to coat the vegetables. Refrigerate overnight.
When ready to serve, arrange the lettuce as a base on the serving platter. Drain the excess marinade and arrange the vegetables in color rings on the lettuce. Place toothpicks in a container nearby.
It’s time to enjoy the party!