Monday, May 14, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper and Zucchini Salad

I followed this recipe straight from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen cookbook.  It is delicious on top of quinoa and with a side of green beans, Spanish style -- also a recipe from this cookbook.  I love cooking from this book because it always reminds me of my time in Spain.  The Mediterranean spans several countries, but I will always know it from Spain.  I spent hours on the sands of that Spanish sea, and some of my favorite foods today are throw-backs my year abroad.


Here is the recipe.  The flavors of this salad when all mixed together are amazing.  I have never loved zucchinis as much as in this! 

2 large red bell peppers
4 small zucchini
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or basil (optional)

Adjust the oven rack to 4 inches from the heating element and preheat the oven to broil.

Trim the top and bottom off each pepper and cut in half lengthwise.  Remove the seeds and inner white membranes.  Slice each half lengthwise into 3 even strips.  Arrange the pepper strips, skin side up, on an ungreased baking sheet.  Broil until partially charred, about 5 minutes.  Place in a paper bag, twist tightly to close, and leave for 20 minutes.  Peel off the skins with our fingers or a small paring knife.  Slice lengthwise into 1/2-inch wide strips.  Place in a large shallow serving bowl and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium stockpot or saucepan large enough to accommodate a 9-inch steaming basket, put 1 inch of water.  Place the steaming basket in the pot and add the whole zucchini.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Cover tightly, reduce the heat to medium, and steam until barely tender, 5 to 7 minutes.  Remove the zucchini with tongs and let cool to room temperature.  Trim the ends of each zucchini and slice in half lengthwise.  Slice each half lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide strips.  Add to the bowl with the red pepper strips.

In a small bowl or pitcher, whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.  Pour the dressing over the peppers and zucchini, tossing well to combine.  Season with additional salt and pepper as necessary.  Let stand for 15 minutes at room temperature to allow flavors to blend.  Toss again.

Sprinkle with the parsley or basil, if using, and serve at room temperature.  Or cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and serve chilled.

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