This simple, vibrant salad depends on best-quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar; they combine with the sweet pepper juices to make a fruity dressing. Be sure to serve the dish warm.
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2 medium red bell peppers, halved lengthwise
2 medium yellow bell peppers, halved lengthwise
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3-inch lengths
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 400°. Brush the pepper skins lightly with olive oil and set them, cut side down, on a baking sheet. Bake the peppers for about 15 minutes, or until the skins are blistered. Remove the skins and seeds and cut the peppers into long thin strips. In a bowl, combine the roasted peppers with the 1/4 cup of olive oil and the garlic and season with salt and pepper.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the asparagus until just tender, about 4 minutes. Drain the asparagus; refresh under cold running water. Pat the asparagus dry with paper towels.
Preheat the oven to 450°. Spread half of the roasted peppers in a baking dish. Arrange the asparagus over the roasted peppers and season with salt and pepper. Top with the remaining roasted peppers and spoon the dressing on top. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until bubbling. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and serve warm.
The salad can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated overnight; store the roasted peppers and the asparagus separately. Bring both to room temperature before proceeding.
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