Italian style roasted pepper salad recipe made with smoky roasted sweet or bell peppers, marinated in a true Italian dressing of extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. Really lovely on the antipasto platter with goat cheese, garnished with capers, toasted pine nuts and fresh basil.
One of my favorite things to make with sweet or bell peppers is this Italian roasted pepper salad recipe. Luckily i stumbled upon a great organic sale at the market so I stocked up on a few pounds of peppers.
Tough you could make this with bell peppers, I really love the little colorful sweet peppers. Once i roast them until charred on my cast iron plate, peel off the skins and marinade them as they are with the little green stems attached. Not only does it save time but I also think it really ads a lot of rustic charm to my pepper salad. There are barely any seeds to speak of if any at all.
Let’s talk about the Italian dressing marinade for the roasted peppers :
Not even close to what you get out of a bottle at the store. In reality, Italian dressing is a perfect balance between a good quality extra virgin olive oil like this, and red wine vinegar. The general rule of thumb is 3:1 but i promise you that is wrong. Why ? Because no two olive oils or vinegars will ever be the same. Depending on the acidity in each the final result will be different.
So start with a 3:1 olive oil to red wine vinegar ratio, season to your taste with good sea salt and then adjust. Taste and add more red wine vinegar or olive oil to your liking.
Taste 11 times if you have to until completely happy. That’s what I’ve been doing all my life, and i can tell you with certainty that the 3:1 formula simply doesn’t work. Cooking is not an exact science, you need to get involved, make every recipe for own.
Once you have peeled the charred peppers and are ready to assemble your roasted pepper salad, simply place them all on a serving platter and drizzle all over with the marinade. If you like, you can also tear the side of each roasted pepper so that the marinade gets to cover more surface.
At this point you can go ahead and refrigerate it for a couple of hours or overnight, but truth be told in our house the roasted peppers never really make it to the fridge.
We devour this roasted pepper salad right then and there, at the kitchen counter over crusty garlicky bruschetta with some burrata cheese on top. Nothing beats the magic of rustic living !
Plus that roasted pepper texture and smoke permeating the kitchen reminds me of my childhood and the man in the photo, and life in that moment is just perfect, because time stands still ..
Italian style roasted pepper salad recipe made with smoky roasted sweet or bell peppers, marinated in a true Italian dressing of extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar.
- 2.5 lb sweet or peppers - mixed colors
- 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 c red wine vinegar + more to taste.
- 3/4 tsp sea salt (or to your taste)
- 1 sprig fresh basil -for garnish
- 1 tbsp capers (optional)
- 1 clove garlic -grated
- Heat up a cast iron plate on medium high flame.
- Roast the peppers on all sides until charred. Transfer to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow them to sit at room temperature until cool enough to handle.
- Once the peppers have cooled down, gently start peeling away the charred skins and discard.
Optional but not needed: in the case of small sweet peppers, you can cut the peppers in half lengthwise and with a pairing knife remove the seeds and the core.
In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil and vinegar and season to taste with the sea salt. Adjust with more red wine vinegar until the magic balance is attained. Add the grated garlic and taste again, even ten times if you must. Alternatively you can use a small jar with a tight lid to shake up the dressing.
- Pour the Italian dressing over the roasted peppers making sure sure they are coated evenly.
Garnish with the basil leaves and capers (optional) and serve as a side dish, on top of bruschetta or on the antipasto platter.