The bells are on fire…
Making this salad harkens back to those middle school science project days. It requires tongs, plastic wrap and a hot flame. The project’s pinnacle is the peeling of the burnt peppers. You’d think it would be hard, but by placing the blackened peppers in bowl covered in plastic wrap, they sweat, and after a good sweat, their skin slides off to reveal soft, sweet flesh. It’s magic. The rest is simple and the conclusion is conspicuously delicious.
Roasted Red Pepper Salad
3 bell peppers (Try varying colors; anything but green)
Dash of red wine vinegar
Drizzle of olive oil
Manchego cheese, shaved in thin ribbons
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Fresh thyme, chopped (optional)
- Wash the peppers and make sure all labels are scraped off. Turn your oven’s gas burners on high and place the peppers directly onto the grates. (If you have an electric range, broil the peppers with the oven door slightly ajar.)
- Using tongs, turn the peppers so they get evenly charred. The peppers may hiss and bubble; it’s just the water from the peppers evaporating. (Science!)
- As soon as the peppers are blackened and blistered all over, place them in a bowl and cover with a plate or plastic wrap. The steam from the peppers will condense and help facilitate peeling. Let them sweat. Do not peek!
- Scrape the knife against the skin of the pepper, removing all of the charred skin. Cut the pepper as you typically would, discarding the top and seeds, then slice into strips and place in a clean bowl.
- Gently toss roasted peppers with shallot, olive oil and red wine vinegar with your hands. Add salt and pepper to taste, plus the fresh thyme if you’ve got it. Top with Manchego and serve on plates with warm bread and hummus.