Sold! It took about 10 seconds to buy into this recipe, sent by a reader just last week. Here's what Laurie B. wrote about her salad recipe that combines roasted peppers (bell peppers and hot chilis both) and roasted tomatoes:
"It hits all my flavor sensors - heat, salt and garlic, well, tomatoes, peppers and onions. Oh wait, that's the recipe, isn't it?!"
She went on. "It's easy to throw together and is so much more than its parts. I got the recipe from a neighbor (she said it was her mother's recipe) when it was served at their son's graduation party. I've never had anything like it and I'll bet I've made it a dozen times since then. We were taking a big bowl of it to a party and I asked my husband to taste a bit; he ate almost half of it and I didn't have enough for the party! I guess he liked it."
And that's been the reaction in my circle too. At a birthday supper on Sunday, with a buffetful of fresh summer food to remark upon, the first praise emerged with the first bite, "These peppers are GOOD." (Thanks, Brad!) Later, the one dish I was asked about? The grilled peppers and tomatoes.
I'll close with Laurie's words. "I sure hope you enjoy this. We sure have." Ditto! Thank you, Laurie for sending this recipe, it's perfect for A Veggie Venture.
GRILLED PEPPER & TOMATO SALAD RECIPE
Time to table: 45 minutes (can be prepped ahead)
Serves as many as needed
PEPPERS & TOMATOES
Peppers - a mix of bell peppers (red and green, say) and hot peppers (poblanos and serranos, jalapeños and Anaheim peppers, say)
Tomatoes - preferably something meaty like a Roma tomato
Garlic & kosher salt
Onion - chopped into thin lengths
Red wine vinegar
Good olive oil
Plenty of kosher salt
PEPPERS & TOMATOES Trim the peppers and remove the seeds and membranes to discard. Cut into quarter or halves, press with the back of your hand to flatten. Grill the peppers and tomatoes skin-sides down until the skins blacken and blister all over. Leave the skins on (they provide great flavor) and let cool. (Stop here if prepping ahead.) Chop both the tomatoes and peppers into rough pieces, one-inch pieces or lengths for a side dish, or into tiny bites for a salsa.
SALAD Mash the garlic and salt into a paste by chopping the garlic as fine as possible with a knife, then mashing the pieces into the salt with the side of a knife; stir into the peppers and tomatoes and onions. (This way, says Laurie, "No one eats raw garlic and it sort of melts into the salad.") Gently splash with equivalent volumes of vinegar and olive oil. Now get salty -- stir in salt, tasting after each addition, it should taste a little salty so that later, when the juices flow from the peppers and tomatoes. If the peppers and tomatoes don't taste that good, it's likely because the dish needs more salt.
I'm not giving quantities because this salad so easily adapts to small and large quantities. Still, some guidance may be helpful. For a dozen large Roma tomatoes and 5 large peppers, I used 1/2 a white onion, 3 large garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons (yes, tablespoons, Laurie writes, "it should taste like a salted tomato" and suggest 2 - 3 tablespoons) of kosher salt, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar.
You'll want roughly equivalent amounts of tomatoes and peppers.
I think it would work just fine to oven-roast both the peppers and tomatoes, see the technique used in Oven-Roasted Peppers.
For tomatoes, I used Romas because they're meatier (and as importantly, less juicy) but Laurie says she's used Romas and garden tomatoes both, even supermarket tomatoes that don't look so ripe.
For peppers, don't worry if you want to err on the side of bell peppers. I did too, using 2 green peppers and 2 red peppers with only 1 poblano pepper and one small hot red chili. A little bit of heat is good, it creates another layer of flavor.
BURN, BABY, BURN At every turn this summer, we're putting a little burn -- intentionally! -- on everything from meat to vegetables to fruit. (Is it the Seven Fires effect?) The 'burn' adds so much flavor, that's why the skins are left on when assembling the salad.
The salad is good the next day but does get juicier after sitting.
The photo was taken three days after the salad was made. When I compare this shot with the ones taken when it was made, the peppers, tomatoes and onion all look 'fresh' (even though roasted) rather than dark and almost pickled. It's very pretty, I just didn't get good pictures!
ABOUT PEPPERS & PRICES Red, yellow and orange bell peppers from the supermarket have become so expensive, $1.50 and even more apiece. But for the next few weeks, from early August and well into September, peppers at the farmers market will be plentiful and cheap, both. They'll likely have thinner skins than the ones from the supermarket but they'll be fresh and luscious, whether eaten raw or like here, roasted. If ever there's a time to gorge on peppers, it's now.
PAIR PEPPERS & TOMATOES
~ Summer Vegetable Stew ~
~ No-Cook Tabblouleh ~
~ Elise's Tomato Gazpacho ~
~ Summer Lentils ~
~ Peperonata with Potatoes ~
~ more bell pepper recipes ~
~ more tomato recipes ~
~ more low-carb recipes ~
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