Vegetables for the Italian buffet

Vegetables for the Italian buffet – recipes

Italy is the source of these colorful vegetable dishes; all are seasoned with a splash of flavorful extra-virgin olive oil. Served separately as salads, they’re refreshing additions to casual meals. Served together, they make up the handsome buffet on page 84. The bread salad also makes a good light lunch or supper. As meal starters, try the green beans, flavored with a porcini-sherry vinaigrette, and the melange of roasted vegetables; or serve them with grilled meat, poultry, or fish.

Tuscan Bread Salad

1/2 loaf (1 -lb.-size) sourdough French

bread, cut into 1 -inch cubes

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium-size head (3/4 to 1 lb.)

fennel, tough stems trimmed off; reserve feathery green leaves

2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine


1 can (2 oz.) anchovy fillets, drained

and minced

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 can (6 oz.) pitted large ripe olives,


1 jar (7 oz.) roasted red bell peppers,

drained and cut into thin strips

1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil

leaves, cut into fine slivers


In a 10- by 15-inch baking pan, mix bread cubes with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Bake in a 300 degrees oven until crisp, about 30 minutes; stir occasionally. Let croutons cool. Trim base and any bruises from fennel; quarter head lengthwise. Sliver each quarter crosswise.

In a large bowl, whisk together remaining oil, vinegar, and anchovies. Add fennel, croutons, onion, olives, bell peppers, and basil. Mix salad until well combined, adding pepper to taste. Garnish with fennel leaves. Serves 8 or 9.

Per serving: 216 cal; 4.9 g protein; 18 g carbo.; 14 g fat; 3. 5 mg chol. ; 516 mg sodium.

Green Beans with Porcini-Sherry Vinaigrette

1/2 ounce (about 1/2 cup) dried porcini


1/2 cup pine nuts

1 poundgreenbeans,endstrimmed

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red

wine vinegar

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 pound small regular (button)

mushrooms (about 1 -in. diameter), rinsed, ends trimmed, and cut in half

Salt and pepper

Soak porcini mushrooms in 3/4 cup warm water until soft, about 20 minutes. Squeeze and manipulate mushrooms to release any grit. Lift out and squeeze dry; discard water. Mince porcini; set aside. Meanwhile, put pine nuts in an 8- or 9inch-wide pan. Bake in a 350 degrees oven until lightly toasted, 8 to 10 minutes; shake pan occasionally. Let cool.

At the same time, in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan, bring I inch water to boiling over high heat. Add beans and cook, uncovered, until barely tender when pierced, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain; immerse beans in ice water until cool, then drain again. In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar and oil with porcini mushrooms. Add mushroom halves, pine nuts, beans, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix ingredients together. Serves 8 or 9.

Per serving: 98 cal.; 2.4 g protein; 6.0 g carbo.; 8.2 g fat,- 0 mg chol.; 4. 4 mg sodium.

Roasted Vegetable Melange

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 eggplant, about 1 1/2 pounds(stem

removed), cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks

1 head garlic

1 each large green, red, and yellow

bell peppers (or all of 1 color; about 1 1/2 lb. total), stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces


Pour equal amounts of oil into 2 pans, each 10 by 15 inches. Place eggplant and garlic in 1 pan, bell peppers in the other. Turn vegetables to coat with oil. Bake in a 400 degrees oven until eggplant is very soft when pressed and edges of vegetables begin to blacken, about 45 minutes; for even browning, switch pan positions halfway through baking.

Combine all vegetables in 1 of the pans; let cool. Separate garlic into cloves. Squeeze 4 or 5 cloves from peel to extract roasted garlic. Stir the very soft extracted garlic cloves gently with vegetables until evenly mixed.

If made ahead, cover and chill up until next day; bring to room temperature before serving.

Transfer vegetables to a serving dish. Of

fer the remaining roasted garlic to squeeze from cloves. Add garlic and salt to taste to individual portions. Makes 8 or 9 servings.

Per serving: 92 cal.; 1.6 g protein; 9.1 g carbo.;

6.3 g fat; 0 mg chol.; 5. 4 mg sodium.

COPYRIGHT 1988 Sunset Publishing Corp.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group