This is a wonderful, fresh, vegetable salad that can also be served as an antipasto salad at the beginning of a great Italian meal!
No special culinary equipment is needed for this magnificent antipasto.
For the Extra Virgin Olive Oil Marinade:
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of White Wine Vinegar
½ teaspoon of Salt
¼ teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes (add to your taste)
3 tablespoons of Basil, coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon of Black Pepper, freshly ground (add to your taste)
1/4 cup of good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For the Fresh Vegetable Salad:
2 large Carrots, sliced into approximately ¼-inch slices
1 Fennel Bulb, cut into ¼ to ½ inch chunks
1/3 cup of Red Onion, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup of English Cucumber, sliced into ¼ inch-slices and then cut each slice into quarters
¼ cup of Kalamata Olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
¼ cup of Pepperoncini Peppers, coarsely chopped
¼ pound of Soppressata or other slightly spicy salami, cut into ¼-inch cubes
2 tablespoons of Sun-dried Tomatoes, chopped
12 Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
To Prepare the Extra Virgin Olive Oil Marinade:
Except for the extra virgin olive oil, put all of the remaining ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together. Slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil and continue to whisk them all together until they are fully mixed.
To Prepare the Fresh Vegetable Salad:
Boil water in a large saucepan, and blanch the carrot slices for about 3 minutes. Immediately remove the carrots from the water and plunge them into a bowl of ice water for a few minutes until they are cold. Blanch the fennel chunks for approximately 3 minutes and then plunge the fennel pieces into a bowl of ice water for a few minutes until they are cold. Drain all of the liquid and place the carrot slices and fennel on paper towels to continue to dry for a few minutes. Then, mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and add the Extra Virgin Olive Oil Marinade, and then continue to mix them all together until the Extra Virgin Olive Oil Marinade is fully integrated with the vegetables. Place the vegetables in a covered container and store it for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator before serving in order to allow the flavors to “marry” together. Bring the marinated vegetables to room temperature before serving, and then move them into to a serving dish and serve.