Friday, September 25, 2009

Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Salad

This salad is super easy and really delicious! If you've never roasted peppers before, it's really easy, it just takes a little bit of time. It's well worth the effort though!

Also this salad has basil cut into thin strips (That is called a chiffonade) on top and mixed in the salad, but it's not added until the end. The basil is fantastic with the peppers, it is light and fresh!

(This picture was taken right before it was put in the fridge to marinate, so there is not basil in it yet)

Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Salad
(This salad has 16, 6 oz servings. If you want bigger portions it won't stretch as far. If you don't need as much, just cut the recipe in half)

10 Bell peppers (Use mostly red, if you want some color add just a couple of either green or yellow or one of each)
2 cups Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup White wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Handful of fresh basil

1. Roast and peel the peppers.

How to roast peppers:

Hold the peppers over an open flame (just on your stove if you have a gas stove). Leave them there turning every couple of minutes until the skin is black all the way around. If you do not have a gas stove you can put them under a broiler or in a hot oven. If you do this, they will not turn as black, but the skin will loosen enough for you to peel off.

If you are putting them in the oven, cut them in half, clean out the seeds and the veins and put open side down on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Broil on high for 7-10 minutes or until skins are very black.

Once the peppers are black, put them in a bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap or in a ziplock bag. (Put them in as soon as they are finished, one at a time if you need to). This will keep the moisture from the peppers on the peppers making it easier to peel the skin off. When you are finished with the peppers.

Once they cool off enough you can easily handle them, you can just rub the skin right off just using your fingers. There will be black pieces left on the pepper, that is completely normal.

2. Quickly rinse off the pepper under water to get any remaining black or skin off that is loose. Don't leave the peppers under the water, it will wash away flavor so just quickly put it in and pull it out.

3. Cut off the top and the bottom of the pepper and one side of the pepper. Roll out into a flat rectangle. Remove the core, seeds and veins

4. Cut the pepper into strips about 1/2 inch wide and you can either leave them the length of the pepper or cut them in half lengthwise so they are easier to fit in your mouth.

5. Combine the oil, vinegar salt and pepper to make a dressing. Pour over the peppers in a bowl and marinate for at least 2-3 hours.

6. Just before serving, finely shred most of the basil leaves and mix with the peppers, reserving a few leaves for garnish.

7. If you want, serve with bread to dip in the dressing.

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