Every summer we look forward to BBQs and potlucks with loved ones but what’s a quick and easy side dish to bring?! Fresh Italian Veggie Salad of course!
My good friend Kara gave us this beautiful recipe for a veggie salad and I just couldn’t wait to try it. It’s so hard to find side dish recipes for dinner and I often want one that isn’t the same ol’ thing, chopped lettuce with carrots and ranch. I love an easy garden salad, but it does get old all summer long.
My parents have the most amazing garden in Idaho and they have taught us all to appreciate fresh from the garden, farm to table recipes and I have to admit, this is totally a salad I hopped on because I knew it was something they would love.
It’s mostly chopping vegetables, and as nerve wracking as it can be to give a child a knife, with your supervision this is a great opportunity to get everyone involved. Really, I wont stop pushing it, let your kiddos and spouse cook with you.
Once everything is cut up go ahead and blanch (cook in boiling water and quickly add to a bowl of ice water) the beans and carrots. Then throw everything in a large bowl, there’s carrots, beans, tomatoes, snow peas, peppers, yellow squash, and olives, but you could change out anything you’d like. Originally it called for green onions but we didn’t have any so I just left them out.
Meanwhile, whisk together a simple Italian dressing. It’s one of our favorites to use in a few ways, like our Cowboy Caviar Quinoa, another awesome side dish that’s also good to eat with chips!
Dress the salad and chill until serving, making sure to give it a final toss before eating. This is a great salad to make in the morning and serve at dinner, but you can serve it immediately too.
Fresh Italian Veggie Salad
- 1 Cup Thinly Sliced Carrots
- 1 Cup Fresh Green Beans, chopped in 2" pieces
- 1 Cup Fresh Sugar Snap Peas
- 1 Cup Thinly Sliced Yellow Squash, halved
- 1 Cup Chopped Red Pepper
- 1 Vine Ripe Tomato, cut in wedges
- 1 Can (2¼ ounces) Sliced Olives
- Italian Dressing from Cowboy Caviar Quinoa
- Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. In a pot filled with water, add the beans and carrots and cook on medium high heat for 3-4 minutes then quickly drain and add the veggies to the ice water.
- In a large bowl, add all of the vegetables, including the beans and carrots. Season with salt and pepper, about ½ teaspoon salt and 1 pinch of pepper.
- In a measuring cup, combine the Italian Dressing ingredients and whisk to combine. Pour over the veggies, and toss to coat. Season with more salt if needed.
- Chill in the fridge until serving or serve immediately.
It’s some of our favorites in a whole new way. Cowboy caviar quinoa is a mashup of the classic cowboy caviar salsa and a healthy quinoa side.