- 5 cups white wine vinegar
- 4 cups water
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons anise seeds
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 bouquet fresh thyme
- 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 4 medium sized carrots, peeled and cut into quarter inch thick half moons
- 1 bunch celery, cut into ¼-inch slices (you may also use the celery leaves)
- 1 large bulb fennel, cut into ¼-inch julienne
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 4 cups large pitted green olives, (Pimento stuffed or plain), broken if halves or thirds by hand
- 2 cups extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
In a large pot bring white wine vinegar and water to a simmer with all the herbs, spices, sugar and salt. Carefully add all of the vegetable except the olives and simmer until crisp-tender, approximately 8-10 minutes. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon and place in a large nonreactive container. Allow pickling liquid to cool and then pour over your vegetables. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the vegetables from the pickling liquid (save the vinegar to use for vinaigrettes, if you like) and toss the pickled veggies with the olives and enough extra virgin olive oil to generously coat the vegetables. Allow this to marinate for at least an hour or so at room temperature and then use as desired. Add addtional olive oil to taste.
Olive salad will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Return to room temperature before using.