Marinated vegetables are a great way to make vegetables ahead for main meals or lunches. In the summer, I make large bowls of marinated vegetables to store in the refrigerator and eat for a few lunches instead of the vegetable soups I make in the winter. These recipes are inspired by my husband’s Italian mother. I use the marinade found under olive oil recipes, but if it’s too vinegary for you, add more oil.

Italian Marinated Vegetables

  • broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, carrots, or peas, or a combination of these
  • potatoes (about 1 part potato to 3 or 4 parts other vegetables) or
  • beets (delicious, but I use them alone because they turn everything deep red)

Lightly steam or microwave the vegetables (keep some crunch). I cook each vegetable separately to get the amount of cooking just right, and usually I use potatoes and one or two non-starchy vegetables. Toss with the marinade and serve at room temperature or cold. Keeps in the refrigerator for a few days.


Make beautiful arrangements of raw and lightly steamed or microwaved vegetables on a large platter and drizzle with balsamic or marinade dressing just before serving. Let your imagination be your guide. I serve antipasto with crusty bread as the first course for special meals. As with all marinades, the leftovers are terrific.

  • dark green lettuce leaves–the bed on which to place the other vegetables
  • carrot, cucumber, ripe pepper, and celery sticks (or try using fennel as Italians do)
  • lightly steamed broccoli, cauliflower, or green beans
  • tomatoes, fresh or dried
  • cheeses (my grocery has a no-fat feta that tastes great)
  • olives, artichoke hearts, and other Italian delights
  • avocado or fresh fruit added just before serving to avoid browning