Summer Vegetable Salad

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You might notice a trend toward more recipes and fewer crafty creations as of late here. I’m feeling quite inspired to create but the little ones just aren’t giving me the hours of silence I crave to do some sort of big artistic endeavor! Imagine that. So my creativity has been geared toward the cooking realm in the past few weeks. This week I’m looking forward to an “art playdate” with my aunt, who has always been my artsy inspiration and mentor, on Thursday. Until then, here’s another recipe that I love in the summer. No cooking involved!

Racheal Ray’s Sicilian Chunk Vegetable Salad (from 30 minute meals II)

4 ribs celery, chopped

1/2 European or English cucumber, diced

2 vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1/2 medium red onion, chopped

8 hot peppers, small cherry peppers or pepperoncini peppers

1 small jar (6-8 ounces) marinated mushrooms, drained (this is the key, I think!)

1 tin flat anchovies, drained and chopped (I’ve left this out usually, only because I didn’t have them, but they really do taste good in this!)

12 large green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (eyeball it.)

1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil (eyeball it.)

salt and black pepper, to taste.

Combine all ingredients.

(Rachael Ray does a nice big rough chop so the chunks are large. So yummy. Her recipe adds 1/2 -1/3 lb. fresh green beans, lightly simmered, but I’ve never added that. Actually, I just add whichever ingredients I have on hand and skip the others. Except the marinated mushrooms, which I didn’t know existed until I made this. They are so good! I’m not much of a Rachael Ray fan anymore, but this recipe was definitely a keeper!)

Enjoy.

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