Although jarred roasted red peppers are readily available in grocery stores, I find the flavor of fresh roasted peppers superior to their supermarket counterparts. During the Summer, take advantage of the grill and char them over the fire. The grill will impart a subtle smokiness that is hard to mimic in mass produced variations. When combined with grilled eggplants, the peppers make a delicious and filling salad.
Packed with plenty of fresh herbs, this vegetarian dish is a wonderful way to use up the bounty of a Summer harvest. To look at the recipe,
2 red bell peppers
Extra virgin olive oil for brushing
2 large eggplants, peeled and sliced 3/8-inch thick
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/3 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Prepare medium-hot charcoal fire, or preheat gas grill (or broiler).
- Grill whole red peppers, turning occasionally, until completely charred, about 20 minutes. Place in plastic or paper bag to steam 10 minutes to loosen skins. Working over bowl to catch pepper juices, remove skin, seeds and stems, and discard all. Dice peppers, and set aside.
- Brush oil onto one side of eggplant slices; place on grill, oiled side down. Cook until tender and grillmarked, 5 to 7 minutes. Oil tops, turn over and grill until tender, another 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to cutting board, and chop.
- Combine eggplant, peppers and juices, tomatoes, scallions, parsley, cilantro, mint and garlic in large salad bowl, and toss to mix. Add lemon juice, and season generously with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more lemon juice, salt or pepper as needed. Serve at room temperature.
- Main Dishes, Salads
- Mediterranean/Middle Eastern