A Squared: Friday Finds: Roasted Bell Pepper Salad

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Finds: Roasted Bell Pepper Salad

After almost a week of indulging in banquet food, lots of wine, and plenty of desserts at work conferences and at home with my family I came back to Chicago in need of a little detox. That meant planning a few dinners consisting of lean protein and lots of veggies. So, I scoured my Italian, Meditteranean, and Spanish cuisine cookbooks to find something healthy and flavorful to make. When I spotted this recipe in The Tapas Cookbook by LoveFood, I was confident it would be a perfect side dish for broiled salmon.

This salad is intended to be served as a part of a tapas-style meal (for 8), however I opted to serve it as a heartier side dish where it probably serves closer to 5. It has big bold flavors from the sweet and tangy vinaigrette and the salty olives and capers, but is still really light and fresh tasting. It was great served with rich salmon and also delicious the next day too. I packed it for lunch along with some orzo and feta and it was a great (and different) brown bag lunch.

  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 3 yellow bell peppers
  • 5 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. dry sherry vinegar or lemon juice *I used lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 Tbs. capers
  • 8 small black Spanish olives
  • 2 Tbs. fresh marjoram, chopped *I couldn't find fresh marjoram at my grocery store, so I used fresh basil instead

Preheat the broiler: Place all the bell peppers on a wire rack or broiler pan and cook under a hot broiler for 10 minutes, turning them frequently, until their skins have blackened and blistered.

Remove the roasted bell peppers from the heat, then place them in a bowl and immediately cover tightly with a clean, damp dish towel. Alternatively, place the bell peppers in a plastic bag. You will find that the steam helps to soften the skins and makes it easier to remove them. Let the bell peppers stand for about 15 minutes, or until they are cool enough to handle.

Holding 1 pepper at a time over a clean bowl, use a sharp knife to make a small hole in the base and gently squeeze out the juices and reserve them. Still holding the bell pepper over the bowl, carefully peel off the skin with your fingers or a knife and discard it. Cut the bell peppers in half and remove the stem, core, and seeds, then cut each bell pepper into neat thin strips. Arrange the bell pepper strips attractively on a serving dish.

Add the olive oil, vinegar or juice, garlic, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste to the reserved pepper juices. Whisk together until combined, then drizzle the dressing over the salad.

Sprinkle the capers, olives, and chopped marjoram over the salad, then garnish with additional marjoram springs and serve at room temperature.

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