Two days in advance: Prepare dressing by whisking together vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and basil in a bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil so that ingredients...
– 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
– 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
– ½ teaspoon kosher salt
– ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
– ½ teaspoon dried basil
– ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
– About ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
– 3 large red bell peppers
– 3 large yellow bell peppers
– 6 medium carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal into ¼-inch thick slices
– 1 pound bocconcini (tiny balls of fresh mozzarella)
– 1 can (13 ounces) artichoke quarters, drained well
– 1 package (6 ounces) arugula leaves
– 1 head butter lettuce
– 2 cups grape tomatoes
– 1 cup mixed imported olives
– ¾ cup wide shreds fresh
1. Two days in advance: Prepare dressing by whisking together vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and basil in a bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil so that ingredients emulsify. Pour into a jar, cover and refrigerate.
2. Cut bell peppers down the length and remove stems and seeds. Score the edges and press flat with the palm of your hand. Arrange on two baking sheets and place one at a time under a hot broiler, cooking until the skins blacken. Remove from oven, cover with damp paper towels and cool. Remove skins and cut peppers into strips. Put into a container and refrigerate.
3. A day in advance: Bring a pan of water to a boil. Add carrots and time about 3 to 5 minutes or until just tender-crisp. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water until cool. Wrap in paper towels and put into a sealed container. Refrigerate.
4. Drain the mozzarella and put into a bowl. Add 3 tablespoons dressing and a pinch of crushed pepper flakes. Cover and refrigerate. Do the same with the artichoke quarters.
5. The morning of the party: Spoon a couple tablespoons of the dressing over the carrots and peppers. Pick through and remove wilted leaves and thicker stems from arugula. Put into a zip-top plastic bag and refrigerate. Wash and dry butter lettuce. Tear into pieces and put into a zip-top bag; refrigerate.
6. One hour before serving: Remove dressing, bell peppers, carrots, mozzarella and artichokes from refrigerator.
7. Just before serving: Spread arugula and butter lettuce on a large serving platter. Arrange marinated ingredients on top, along with tomatoes and olives; drizzle with remaining dressing. Use a vegetable peeler to remove wide shreds from Parmesan and sprinkle over the top.