Saturday, December 20, 2014

Grilled Rainbow Pepper Salad - a great, quick, pretty side dish from Sharing Morocco

I have absolutely no problem wandering into the kitchen and whipping up random recipes based on what's in the refrigerator or the pantry. I've got no trouble wandering a grocery store, looking for sales, and creating the bones of a recipe while I'm filling my cart.

But lately I've fallen in love with my cookbooks all over again. I've been participating in book tours, like this one for the book Sharing Morocco.

In case you're not familiar with book tours online, it's when a bunch of bloggers all get a cookbook and post about their experience with the book, sometimes with a recipe. And, this time, I also have one to give away!

Some bloggers like to do interviews or commentary about the style of the book, but I always opt for a recipe, because I think that's what makes readers want a book.

When I saw that one of the recipes permitted for posting was a pepper salad, I knew that's what I had to make.

When I was a kid, I loved green olives (which I understand most kids don't) because of the pimento stuffed in the center. Back then, I thought pimento was something very exotic. I really didn't know if it was fruit, vegetable, or something else. But I totally loved it.

I also loved bell peppers when I was a kid, but we mostly ate them green. If I'd only known that pimentos were ripe and roasted bell peppers, it would have rocked my world.

I was particularly pleased that this recipe was called a salad rather than a garnish or condiment. Bell peppers are awfully popular, but seldom the star. I figured it was about time they got their proper place as a vegetable and not just a flavoring agent.

I used elephant garlic for this, since it's milder and I wanted to tame the garlic flavor just a little bit. I like garlic - a lot - but this time I wanted it just a little milder.

While this is great as a side dish or salad, it would also make a good topping for a sandwich or added to pasta or tossed into a green salad. Or, if you're me, just attack it with a fork.

The instructions suggested having it in a serving bowl, but I thought it looked pretty in a jar. And it was easier for storage, too.

Grilled Rainbow Pepper Salad
Salada del Fulfla
Serves 4 to 6
From Sharing Morocco, by Ruth Barnes
Printed with permission of Greenleaf Book Group Press (October 7, 2014)

The author said: This colorful salad is an excellent side to any main dish or fantastic on its own or with any bread. It is usually found at meals for family gatherings (my daughter always requests it for such occasions) and will brighten up any lunch or dinner table.

1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 medium lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the grill on medium heat.

Grill the peppers, turning with tongs, until the skin is loose and charred on all sides and the peppers are tender.

Allow the peppers to cool and then remove the skins.

Cut away and discard the stems and seeds from the peppers.

Cut the peppers into strips, put in a serving bowl, and add the garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice. Season with the salt and pepper, and mix to combine.

Chill for 30 minutes before serving.

Note: I thought these were better after even longer storage - like the next day. The flavors had more of a chance to mingle, and the bite of the garlic was softened a bit more.

I received this book from the publisher, and they are providing one copy for a giveaway.