Marinated peppers and leek antipasto
If you are like me, you are always looking for ways to integrate more fresh vegetables into the daily diet. I especially love this appetizer because not only is it light and healthy, but it is also bright and flavorful. It is best when prepared the day before, so that the flavors really come together. This also makes it great for entertaining, because it just needs to be pulled out of the fridge, add your favorite crostini or crackers to accompany, and you are ready to serve. To get really great peppers and leeks, go to a local farmer's or ranch market.
For the peppers:
6 bell peppers yellow, red and green
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
1 clove of garlic finely minced
For the leek:
3 leeks, trimmed and rinsed
6 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, finely minced
sea salt and pepper
First make the peppers. Get your broiler nice and hot. Put your peppers on a baking sheet, and broil them until they begin to blacken, turning them to broil on all sides. When they are evenly done, put them in a stainless steel bowl and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Let the peppers cool enough to handle, then peel the skin off, and remove the seeds. Cut the peppers into 1/4 inch wide strips, and arrange colorfully on your serving dish. Drizzle them with a high quality olive oil, and sprinkle with garlic, parsley and sea salt.
Now you are ready to make the leeks. Once your leeks are trimmed and washed, put them in a pot of generously salted boiling water for about 8-10 minutes. You want them to be tender, but somewhat firm, not falling apart. When they are done, drain them and cut the leeks in half lengthwise so you have 6 nice pieces.
Arrange them next to the peppers on your serving dish. Finally, you are ready to make the vinaigrette for the leeks. Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar with a little salt and pepper. Once it is well blended, drizzle over the leeks. Cover your vegetable antipasto and refrigerate until ready to serve. It can be served chilled straight from the fridge, or room temperature. I like to make crostini out of a baguette, or buy them. You can also serve the antipasto with bread or crackers.
Enjoy your beautiful, tasty. healthful appetizer.