Marinated Pepper and Onion Salad

>> Friday, March 20, 2015

Marinated Pepper and Onion Salad

Joe and I love shopping the discount produce at our local ethnic grocery store, and finding deeply reduced foods that absolutely have to be used today. This challenges us to whip up something special without having anything planned in advance, and play with what we have available. Sometimes we rise to the challenge, other times we flop.

We found a pack of mixed bell peppers the other day for about 10 cents a pepper, which is a great deal for Chicago at the end of March. The same store had red pearl onions for $1 a pint, another good bargain! We roasted the peppers and onions, then Joe whisked together a tasty pomegranate vinaigrette to marinate them. After I composed the salad, I had a taste and realized the flavors weren't balanced. Too sweet. It needed something piquant to make it pop. Some leftover Kalamata olives and capers were the perfect finish.

Speaking of finish, we finished all this salad for dinner. No leftovers, unfortunately.


For the marinade

1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pomegranate balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp fresh marjoram, snipped
1/2 tsp tarragon, snipped
1/2 tsp powdered garlic
1 tsp ground black pepper

For the salad

3 red bell peppers
3 orange bell peppers
1/2 pint pearl onions, peeled, or 1 large red onion, peeled and thickly sliced
6-8 cups mixed salad greens
2 tbsp pickled green capers
1/4 cup sliced Kalamata olives
4 oz. Romano cheese, shaved


Whisk together the marinade ingredients and let it sit at room temperature.

Heat the broiler or grill. Place the peppers and onions on a broiler pan or cookie sheet, or place them directly on the grill. Broil or grill close to the heat until the exposed side is blotchy, black, and peeling. Turn over the peppers and onions and roast until both sides are blistered and the skin is blackened.

Roasting red peppers

Place the vegetables in a paper bag and allow to steam for 30 minutes. This will help you peel the blackened parts off. When finished steaming, cut off the stem and scrape the charred skin and seeds off with a knife. Cut the peppers into thin strips and let drain in a colander for 15 minutes.

Put the peppers and onions in a bowl and cover with the marinade. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. You can do this part up to several days ahead of time and refrigerate it if you want, but be sure to serve the marinated vegetables at room temperature for the best flavor.

Divide the salad greens and arrange them on six separate plates. Top each plate with 1/6 of the pepper/onion mixture, and divide the marinade between all the plates. Sprinkle with the capers, olives, and cheese before serving.

Serves 6 as side dishes.


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