This beautiful roasted peppers salad adds depth of flavour and colour to the grilled aubergine dip, or to any steak or fish dishes.
They are a great addition to any summer dinners. I know that you can find them in jars at the supermarkets, but the ones that you make at home, with their bits of scorched crispy skin, and the occasional un-discarded seeds, will charm you with their imperfections.
There is nothing wrong with not being perfect, just enjoy the sweet smoky flavours with a dash of garlic vinaigrette.
I always prefer the sweetness and silkiness of the Romano peppers (the long and thin ones), but if I can’t find any, I cook with bell peppers. They can be quite a mouthful, but you can always cut them into finer strips. I always go for different colours for a vibrant look.
The secret is to try to bring the smokiness of the burnt skin into the flesh of the pepper. Together they will be a match made in heaven. I cook mine in a griddle pan, with no oil, but you can also do it under the grill in the oven. Make sure it is piping hot, before you put the peppers in. You need to keep turning them and scorch the skin evenly on all sides. Then put them aside, sprinkle some salt over the skin, and wait till they cool down a bit.
Once the roasted peppers are cool enough to touch, hold them carefully with one hand, and peel off the burnt skin with the other. You will need to be very gentle so as not to remove the flesh, and this won’t always be possible. However, don’t panic, you will be able to hide these bits before serving.
Combine the vinegar with the salt and then add the oil. Stir to emulsify, then add the honey. Taste, and if it’s too vinegary, add a splash of water.
Arrange the peppers in a star shape, tails up, in a shallow bowl. Peel and finely cut the garlic cloves lengthwise, and sprinkle over the peppers. Then gently pour the vinaigrette on top of the peppers, add the fresh parsley and rosemary. Serve it next to the aubergine dip, or steak, or as part of a mezze night.