For a pop of bright colour at your next meal try our wonderfully smoky Bell Pepper Salad. Make it on the weekend and enjoy it throughout the week, it is unbelievably versatile!
Are you looking for a nice smoky element as a side for your next barbecue or potluck? Well, this Bell Pepper Salad is the answer! Peppery arugula with colourful peppers which we roasted until charred then marinated in a delightful smokey, spicy dressing.
What I Love About this Salad
The incredible roasted, smoky oh so colourful peppers and that spicy marinade is to die for! The longer you leave the peppers sitting in the marinade the better and better this salad gets.
Honestly, you are going to love the sweetness of the bright red and yellow peppers sitting on top of the peppery arugula/rocket it is such a heavenly match.
Start this salad the day before and let the peppers marinate overnight (the longer you leave them the tastier this salad is).
Then all you have to do on the day of serving is prepare your rocket and arrange the salad in a serving bowl.
When peppers (capsicums) are abundant during the summer months (and so much cheaper!) I like to make up a big batch of this marinated bell pepper salad and keep it covered in the fridge. It is just so versatile for so many things:-
- Serve it as part of anti-pasta platter or cheese board.
- Great as a filling for sandwiches, burgers and wraps.
- Try it with roasted mushrooms as a starter.
- Serve it on top of your bruschetta for a quick snack.
- Makes a great tart topping try it on a goats cheese or asparagus tart for some bright colour.
You can pair this salad with almost anything but it is absolutely superb served with white-fleshed fish either grilled or roasted.
It also pairs beautifully with pork, a goat cheese tart, a well-cooked steak, grilled portabello mushrooms or asparagus risotto.
Make it a Meal
- For turophiles - add some crumbled feta or goats cheese oh and a turophile is someone who loves cheeses (from the Greek word for cheese tyri/τυρί).
- For carnivores - add some shredded beef or grilled chicken.
- For pescatarians - add some flakes of salmon.
- For vegan protein - add some chickpeas or butter beans.
- For grain lovers - try some cooked quinoa, farro or couscous.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Colourful Peppers/Capsicum - we have used red and yellow peppers for their bright colours.
- Arugula/Rocket - used to bulk up this salad, and to add some bright green colour and for a peppery bite. You could swap with some baby spinach or mixed salad greens if you prefer, but to be honest the spiciness of the rocket really compliments the sweetness of the peppers.
- Smoky/spicy Dressing - such a great little dressing with a slight heat and a wonderful smokiness. For simpler flavours try a balsamic vinaigrette it will also compliment the peppers and rocket.
- Consider adding - some diced fresh chillies or jalapeños for some heat or some pine nuts, almonds or cashews for some crunch.
You Will Need
How to Make It (step-by-step)
Step 1 - Roast Bell Peppers
Start off by heating the oven to 260°C (500°F).
Rinse all your capsicums carefully under gently running cold water.
Arrange these colourful beauties on a large roasting tray, season with sea salt and drizzle with oil, then put them in the middle part of the oven for about 25 minutes.
Turn them frequently until the skin blisters and begins to blacken.
Once done, remove from the oven and place in a plastic bag or on a plate with a large bowl to cover them for approximately ten minutes or so until they cool.
When they are cool enough to touch, pinch the skins and peel them off and remove them.
Step 2 - Marinate the Peppers
Add all your dressing ingredients to a glass jar and shake until emulsified.
Remove the core and the seeds from your peppers.
Then cut the peppers into ribbons and transfer them to a deep dish.
Pour the dressing over the peppers and mix through and place to one side to marinate for 20-30 minutes - the longer you leave them the tastier they will be.
Step 3 -Assemble the Salad
Wash your rocket leaves, shake and either pat dry in a towel or spin in a salad spinner to remove excess water.
Place the rocket/arugula on a salad platter and arrange the peppers over the top.
Serve and Enjoy!
I usually use a mix of red, yellow and orange (if I can find them) peppers. So long as you have six good-sized peppers then you don't have to worry about it too much.
We don't want any green ones though because they are just not sweet enough!
Banana, bullhorn or sweet peppers are good here as well (you will need approximately one kilo or 2.2 pounds).
They all start off green then change to red and orange as they mature. The more mature they are the sweeter they are.
Green capsicums are picked ripe but still green and are more bitter and less sweet than the others. They have firmer skin than the coloured and therefore have more “crunch”.
Yellow capsicums have a fruity taste, yet are milder than their orange or red counterparts.
Orange capsicums are similar to yellow in that they have a bit less flavour than red capsicums but are just as sweet.
Red capsicums are the sweetest of all the colours with one red capsicum containing almost the equivalent to almost 2 teaspoons of natural sugar. The reason being is that they have been left to ripen on the vine for the longest time and therefore the sugar content keeps developing. Their sweetness makes them perfect for salads.
You can roast the peppers and marinate them up to a week in advance and keep them in an airtight container in the fridge (a word of warning as mine never last a week).
On the day of serving prepare your rocket/arugula and top with the pepper mix.
Make sure you have allowed them to come to room temperature first as olive oil sometimes hardens in the fridge.
Once made up the salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days, otherwise, the rocket will wilt too much and may become slimy.
Any leftovers you may have are great stirred through some pasta, just add some freshly grated parmesan for an easy dinner or lunch.
Great to top a steak with the next day or to add in a wrap or on some toasted sourdough with some crumbled feta -delish!
Why not try more capsicum (pepper) recipes
- 500 grams red capsicums/peppers (approximately 17.64 ounces or 3 medium)
- 500 grams yellow capsicums/peppers (approximately 17.64 ounces or 3 medium)
- 120 grams rocket (arugula) (approximately 4.23 ounces or 4 loosely packed cups)
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 garlic cloves, minced
- Preheat your oven to 260°C (500°F).
- Wash all your capsicums carefully.
- Arrange your capsicums on a large roasting tray season with sea salt and add a drizzle of oil.
- Then put them in the middle part of your oven for about 25 minutes, turning the capsicums frequently until the skin blisters and begins to blacken.
- Remove from the oven and place them in a plastic bag or on a plate and cover them with a bowl until they are cool (approximately 10 minutes).
- Peel away skins, seeds, and stems then discard and leave to the side to cool.
- Add all your dressing ingredients to a glass jar and shake until emulsified.
- Once the peppers are cool, cut into ribbons then transfer to a deep dish.
- Pour the dressing over the peppers and place to the side to marinate for 20-30 minutes (the longer you leave them the tastier they will be. 1
- Wash your rocket leaves, shake and either pat dry in a towel or spin in a salad spinner to remove excess water.
- Place the rocket on salad platter and arrange the peppers over the top.
- Serve & Enjoy!
- You can easily start this salad the day before and let the peppers marinate overnight so all you have to do on the day of serving is prepare your rocket.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.
This video is courtesy of All Recipes.
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