Vegetarian Antipasto-Easy to Make Recipe!
The Vegetarian Antipasto is the third item that is ready for the Christmas gift baskets. (Check out this hub for more details about the Bakers dozen gift baskets. I've also added the links at the bottom of the hub)
Christmas giving on my mind!
This Antipasto in a jar is very versatile. Antipasto supposedly just means appetizer but I use this one for much more than just hors d'oeuvres. If I haven't got anything planned for dinner and someone pops in unexpectedly it doesn't take anything to cook up a package of noodles then toss it with a jar of the antipasto, add a little feta or cottage cheese, served with a mixed salad and voila a fabulous gourmet dinner that will take all of 15 minutes from stove to table top. Other times when I just don't feel like cooking I just plop some of the antipasto on a sub-bun or a thick slice of toasted Italian bread sprinkled with some grated Mozza, throw it in the toaster oven under the broiler for one minute and bingo dinner in three minutes flat.
The ingredients are all just veggies therefore the antipasto is a great choice for vegetarian and vegans.
However to change the dinner to fit meat-eaters is easy, just add a few slices of hot capiccolo, Italian sausage, julienne sliced
ham, roast beef or left over chicken breast. It tastes nice with every
type of meat possible.
This year as I decided to add a jar of this specialty I will need to at least triple the following recipe. Lucky that all the fresh veggies come from the garden.
- 1 lg head cauliflower, broken into small bite sized florets
- 5 lg carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch slices
- 5 celery ribs, cut on the diagonal into 3/4-inch slices
- 3 small-med zucchini, cut on the diagonal into 3/4 inch slices
- 3 small-med eggplant, cut on the diagonal into 3/4 inch slices
- 1 head fennel, cut into 3/4 inch slices
- 1 lg vidalia onion, cut into 1/2 inch ring
- 1 pound small fresh button mushrooms, washed and drained
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1 quart jar small whole pickled green peppers
- 1 quart jar green pickled cherry or grape tomatoes (optional)
- 1/2 can pitted black olives, drained
- 1/2 cup pimiento stuffed green olives, drained
- 11/2 cups pickled cocktail onions
- 3 cups marinated artichoke hearts, drained
- 2 cups canned tomatoes, I use whole ones cut into quarters
For the sauce:
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 oz can of tomato paste
- 1 1/2 canned tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
- 5-6 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup white or wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
- juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
- 3/4 to 1 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper (depending on how hot you like your food)
- 2 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
~Sterilize jars and lid/ring combos. Remove jars and let drain on clean towel. Leave lid and rings in hot water until ready to use.
~Drain all prepared vegetables and reserve all their liquids. Set veggies aside in large mixing bowl.
~In a large saucepan combine all the sauce ingredients. Over medium heat bring to a boil. Lower temp to med-low and let simmer stirring occasionally. Add 1 cups of the reserved juices from the prepared veggies. Stirring and let simmer.
~In a large pot bring generously salted water to a boil. Blanch carrots for 4 minute; remove from water and add to prepared veggies in mixing bowl. Continue blanching in same water the cauliflower for 3 minutes; then the celery and fennel also for 3 minutes. The zucchini and eggplant only need 1 1/2 minutes. Adding each into the bowl. Remember the veggies should still be crisp, they will cook more as they are processed. To keep mushrooms nice and white, now add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the blanching water wait till it boils again then blanch mushrooms for only 1/2 minute as they will get too soggy otherwise.
~Gently mix all vegetables in bowl, add sauce and toss well.
~Fill sterilized canning jars (I use wide-mouthed 2 cup/500ml sized ones) with the saucy veggies. Load them well to about an inch from the top.
~In small saucepan bring remaining reserved juices to a boil.
~Fill in the jars with the hot liquid to about 1/2 inch from the top. The liquid has to fill in all the spaces between the veggies...make sure there are no air bubbles in between the veggies. You can remove bubbles by sliding a knife along the jar side. (add more liquid if needed)
~Lid and tighten on rings and process in boiling water canner for 30 minutes.
IMPORTANT: Most of the veggies used in an antipasto are low-acid foods therefore the timing is critical to be followed. Never process for less time then the suggested 30 minutes. Check to make sure all jars are sealed as the come out of the canner.
This recipe has a lot of ingredients but if you do not like something on the list you can personalize it to your liking instead. If you do not like olives replace them with more artichoke hearts or you can add whole green beans etc. A friend of mine makes hers with Brussels sprouts and no green peppers.
This Antipasto is an easily manipulated recipe...try it I bet you will like it.
Photos courtesy www.sxc.hu
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UPDATE to the recipe!
Just an addition to the uses of this recipe. One of my friends who makes her antipasto using my recipe mentioned that she folds the antipasto into an egg omlet... Well I tried it a couple of nights ago for dinner. All I can say is YUM in capitals.
This opens up another route for the uses of this antipasto. Next will be a trial for antipasto quiche... I'll let you know how it goes...
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