Italian vegetable preserving has long been a staple in Italian cuisine. This creation is a blend of vegetables and spices and can be used as a dressing, sandwich topping, or side dish. There are literately a countless number of Italian preserving recipes to suit just about any palate. No matter what recipe you follow, there are certain tips and tricks that can help enhance your creation. Here are a few helpful tips to help you prepare and serve your Italian vegetable preserves.
Use Your Hands
When mixing your vegetables and seasonings together, don’t use a spoon. The key to your vegetables tasting good is how well the seasoning is dispersed throughout the mixture. Sometimes when you use a spoon or other mixing utensil, it’s easy to miss an area.
When you use your hands, you can better combine the ingredients together and ensure a more succulent flavor. Rotate your hands throughout the bowl and gently fold the vegetables and seasonings together. Make sure you’re doing so gently to keep all the vegetables intact. It’s also important that you’re thoroughly washing and drying your hands before you begin.
Let Them Rest
Most recipes recommend that after you mix the vegetables and seasonings together, you immediately place them in a jar and refrigerate the mixture. However, it’s good to allow the mixture to rest before you jar it. After you’ve mixed everything together, place the vegetables in a covered bowl and allow them to rest unrefrigerated for a few hours.
This allows the vegetables to marinate and become more flavorful before you submerge them in oil. The longer you allow them to rest, the stronger the flavor, so use your taste buds as a guide to how long you let them marinate.
Don’t Serve Immediately
Never serve your vegetable mixture straight out the refrigerator. You should always allow the mixture to come to room temperature first. When oil gets cold it will congeal, or solidify. Instead of the mixture being more like a dressing consistency, it will be chunky.
The longer the mixture has been in the refrigerator, the longer it will take for it to reach room temperature. For the best results, take the mixture out of the refrigerator several hours before you plan to serve it, so that it can mellow out first.
When creating your mixture, remember patience is key. Italian cuisine is part skill, but more so about love. Take your time preparing your own blend, and you will create something both you and your family love and enjoy.