- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel (zest)
- dash of Freshly ground pepper
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Roasted red peppers (optional, but great)
- 4 cups arugula
Wisk or blend together the cheese, lemon juice and zest and pepper. While blending drizzle in the olive oil. Toss lightly with peppers and arugula and serve. Take this recipe one more step and put this salad on a pizza crust and bake in a hot oven.
Peppers can be roasted whole or halved, on an open flame or oven. Brush them with olive oil and lay them on the grill or on a cookie sheet in a 500 degree oven until the skin begins to darken and pull away from the flesh of the pepper. At this point turn them and repeat the blackening on another side. Once the pepper is roasted all around put it immediately into a paper bag for 10 minutes, this steams the pepper further and make removing the blackened skin easier. Remove from the bag to a bowl of very cold water and remove the skin.
Roasted peppers can be laid out flat and stacked with waxed paper between each layer. Once you have 5-10 peppers slide them into a zip lock and freeze for the winter.
Here are a few hints for grilling vegetables…
First start with a hot fire. Then marinate them a bit in olive oil, fresh herbs, and or balsamic vinegar.
Trim away roots and greens from the leek, leaving the white shaft. About 1 inch above the root end, cut through the leek lengthwise so that the root end is the only part holding the two halves together. Wash any soil from between the leaves and then cut the leek completely in half. If your leeks are more than three quarters of on inch in diameter, boil some water and blanch them in it for one minute. Smaller leeks generally don’t need blanching. Brush with olive oil and lay right on the grill for at least 4-5 minutes a side. Some blackening is ok as the heat will release the sugars in the leek.
Peppers can be done whole or halved with the seeds and veins removed. Either should be brushed with olive oil and put on high heat. To really roast peppers leave them on each side until the skin blackens and separates from the flesh. After the pepper is blackened all the way around put it immediately into a paper bag for 10 minutes, this steams the peppers further and make removing the blackened skin easier.
Eggplant can be cut into large rounds half an inch thick and oiled or roasted whole like the peppers. If you like baba ganouge (a middle eastern mixture of roasted eggplant, tahini, garlic and lemon) roasting eggplant like this is the way to make your own! Whether roasting or grilling the slices, be liberal with the olive oil and make the fire hot. Like the leek and the peppers, don’t be afraid of some blackening, the sweet richness of the vegetables will be complimented by the smokiness.
Quarter cup of olive oil
2 diced onions
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
6 bell peppers –red and/or green, sliced
Salt and fresh pepper
4 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
Heat the oil in a large skillet and add onions garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Sauté over medium heat until the onions soften and color. Add the peppers and a pinch of salt; raise the heat and cook vigorously until the peppers begin to soften. Add the tomatoes and lower the heat. Simmer until the excess water from the tomatoes has steamed away and season with pepper.
Preheat oven to 400. Cut the tops from the peppers and halve them lengthwise. Remove the veins and seeds; brush the skins with olive oil and lay out flat on a cookie sheet with the skin side up. Bake at 400 or broil 5-6 inches from the top element/burner in your oven until the skins are wrinkled but not charred, 10-20 minutes. Remove and stack peppers to steam in a pile for 15 minutes.
At this point you can rub off the skins with your hand or the help of a paper towel. A cold water bath can help this process but washes away a lot of flavor.
These flat peppers are easy to freeze by stacking them with wax paper between each layer and slipping them into ziplocks. Remove as much air as possible and freeze flat.