Summer is the best season to make this beautiful roasted pepper salad. Roasting over hot coals brings out the sweetness and best possible flavor in the peppers that you can add to a green salad, use as a sandwich topping/addition or simply to enjoy as a side dish when grilling either meats or fish. Find the freshest quality sweet bell peppers at your local farmer’s market or grocer and remember to choose a mix of red, yellow and orange sweet bell peppers to create a visually beautiful and delicious dish.
peperoni dolci arrostiti insalate
8-12 fresh sweet bell peppers (red, yellow and orange in color)
garlic clove (sliced into thin slices)
inner stalks of celery with tender yellow leaves (finely chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
Light the charcoal in your outside grill using a charcoal chimney or other non-chemical lighting option and let it burn until the charcoal starts to turn to ash on the outside (approximately 15-20 minutes or so.) Create a hot and cool zone by shifting the burning charcoal around allowing you to control the heat levels as you roast the peppers. Place the washed and dried sweet bell peppers right on the grill and leave them uncovered and untouched.
The traditional method for this roasting process is to remove the metal grate and set the peppers directly on top of the hot coals achieving maximum burn and flavor. Try this for yourself and see what method you prefer.
Let the peppers roast and you will start to see the skin turn dark and eventually black and ashen in color. Turn the peppers as they start to blacken so all sides are reaching the heat of the coals and once the skin blackened over most of the pepper, remove from the heat and place into a large brown paper bag.
This will help the skin removal process as the moisture loosens the skin a bit. Using a covered space or table (try newspapers or paper towel) start to peel the skin off the pepper and break into the pepper and remove the stem, inner ribs and all the seeds. Lay the clean sections on clean towels and once all are peeled and prepared, you can begin to assemble this salad.
In a large bowl, tear the roasted peppers by hand into small strips and then add the chopped celery stalks and leaves and the sliced garlic clove.
Use more or less garlic to your personal taste, we prefer just a few slices to flavor so as not to overpower the sweetness of the peppers.
Add a good drizzle of excellent quality olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Mix this well, being sure to coat all the peppers with the oil before setting aside to rest. You can serve this immediately at room temperature or place in the refrigerator to cool.
This salad will keep well in a sealed container in the refrigerator for days. This refreshing, bright salad makes a great addition at family barbecues, picnics and neighborhood potluck summer gatherings.
Note: Photography provided by Annette L. Venditti