This recipe is all about choosing the freshest vegetables and doing very little with them. A drizzle of olive oil and squeeze of lemon juice to bring out the flavours of the veggies is all that’s needed. Warm Vegetable Salad with Olive Oil and Lemon is simplicity at its best!!!
Warm Vegetable Salad with Olive Oil and Lemon
When it comes to selecting, preparing and cooking vegetables, l’ve been lucky on two counts. Firstly, l grew up in a Greek household where vegetable dishes are often the highlight of a meal. Secondly, being the daughter of a green grocer l had access to fresh, high quality produce as soon as it came in from the markets.
Choosing great tasting vegetables involves knowing what’s in season and knowing what to look for in terms of freshness.
The fresher and firmer the vegetables, the sweeter they will be! This is what l looked for when l selected the veggies for this dish.
1. Cauliflower and broccoli: make sure that the heads are firm and the florets are tightly packed. Look at the underside of the broccoli. If the florets are yellow … put it back and choose something else.
2. Zucchinis need to be firm and shiny on the outside.
3. Lemons: like zucchini, are best when their skin is shiny. Avoid lemons that are hard (they will probably not be very juicy) or very wrinkly on the outside.
It goes without saying that a good quality extra virgin olive oil is a must and will give its own unique taste to any dish. I have suggested a 2:1 ratio of olive oil and lemon juice to start with. I have been known and roused on by my daughters for adding a lot of olive oil.
This recipe is all about letting the freshness and flavours of the vegetables speak for themselves. The less you do to the veggies, the better!
Preparation Time: 5 mins Cooking Time: 10 mins Serves: 3-4
l have included instructions for both boiling and steaming the vegetables.
- ½ small cauliflower (note 1)
- small head of broccoli
- 2 small zucchinis
The Dressing (note 2)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley or dill
- Separate the florets (little bunches of flowering stems) from the broccoli and cauliflower into pieces the size of a large walnut (see photo).
- Slice the zucchini into 2 cm / ¾” circles.
- Steaming: Put the veggies into a steamer basket. Bring the water to the boil in a medium saucepan. Place steamer basket into the saucepan and cover. Reduce the heat to medium high. Steam for 10 minutes. Check for tenderness after 8 minutes.
- Boiling: Place a medium saucepan ⅓ – ½ filled with water on the stove and bring to the boil. Drop in the veggies and cover. I try to use the least amount of water as the steam generated in the saucepan will help cook the veggies. Boil until they are cooked the way you prefer. Taste a piece every so often.
- Remove from the stove and immediately drain. Transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle the oil and lemon juice over the veggies. Add salt and pepper and a sprinkling of chopped parsley or dill.
- The quantity of cauliflower and broccoli amounts to approximately 2 cups of florets each.
- The dressing is a 2:1 ratio of extra virgin olive oil to lemon juice. How much you add is really a matter of taste. I usually add LOTS of olive oil (and get told off for it!!).