I love, love, love a good grocery store. Overflowing rainbow displays of fresh produce are the first to greet you, and then there are the wonderful bulk bins with infinite possibilities and always a mysterious legume or grain. Organic is the rule, not the exception. Going grocery shopping feels like an event, an escape – never a chore.
My favorites in the Pacific Northwest include PCC Natural Markets, Central Market, and, of course, Whole Foods. Whole Foods is where we found ourselves meandering a couple of Saturdays ago, as we picked up a few groceries for the week. And it’s also where we found ourselves inhaling a sample of this simple salad of roasted peppers, olive oil, parsley, and feta cheese.
I usually roast my red peppers under the broiler, but this recipe calls for roasting them in a baking dish along with a good amount of olive oil. The peppers soften, wither, and brown a little, all the while infusing the olive oil with their peppery goodness. The oil is then used to dress the salad. Kind of genius, right?
The original recipe includes the option of using preserved lemon, which I didn’t have. So I just perked it up with a little lemon zest.
Fresh, salty, and bright. We’ve enjoyed this roasted pepper & feta salad by itself, as a side dish, and – especially great – stuffed into grilled whole wheat pitas along with salt and pepper tofu for me and chicken for him.
Roasted Pepper & Feta Salad
- 4 bell peppers - red (yellow, and/or orange)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 small red onion (diced (about 1/2 cup))
- Handful fresh parsley (chopped (about 1/4 cup chopped))
- 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Wash peppers and lay them in a baking dish. Pour the olive oil over the peppers and bake for about 35 minutes, until wilted and beginning to turn brown. Remove peppers from oven and cover with foil or a towel. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes. Carefully remove as much peel as you can from the peppers; discard. Some peel may be stubborn and remain - that's ok. Remove the centers and seeds also.
- Cut peppers into 1-inch pieces and add to a large bowl. Add parsley, feta, lemon zest, and the oil that the peppers cooked in. Toss and serve.
- Keeps refrigerated for about two days. I think the salad tastes best served closer to room temperature.