Every year about this time, I start craving salads. And by craving, I mean intense, must have it, primal longing. It’s as if my body, as well as my mind, knows that fresh local produce will soon be a fading memory. I find myself at the farmers markets overloading my trusty, ever ready Metro Kart with bell peppers, celery, sweet onions, corn, lettuce, fennel, chiles, and tomatoes. Plus whatever else looks amazing that day.
Then I have fun all week creating tasty whole-meal salads for lunch and even dinner. I don’t need meat or even pasta right now. There will be plenty of time ahead for hearty meals. While I can still get a huge variety of amazing local produce, all I really want to eat is salad. Salad, salad, and more salad.
But not just any salad of course. It has to have plenty of color, crunch, and wake up every one of my taste buds. This salad delivers on all counts.
Red & Orange Bell Pepper Salad with Mint, Parsley & Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette
This tangy, crunchy, delectable country salad is satisfying enough for a simple supper, if served with a loaf of homemade bread or Seeded Bread Crisps. You might also consider adding a handful of crumbled feta cheese or serving with warmed fresh goat cheese.
For a more substantial meal, throw a few skewers of marinated prawns on the grill and serve alongside the salad.
2 red bell peppers, cored, ribbed, seeded, and cut into ½-inch dice
1 orange bell pepper, cored, ribbed, seeded, and cut into ½-inch dice
1 medium red onion, peeled, and chopped
4 ribs celery, with leaves, ends trimmed and sliced on the diagonal
12 Calamata olives, pitted and halved
2 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, ribbed, and minced (use disposable gloves)
grated zest of 1 large lemon
small handful flat leaf parsley, leaves only, chopped
small handful fresh mint leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
½ cup cold pressed, extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled, and minced or pressed
fine sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Prepare the vegetables as indicated above. Reserve.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, white wine vinegar, olive oil, and garlic until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve.
- In a large salad bowl, combine the bell peppers, onion, celery, olives, chiles, lemon zest, parsley, and mint.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and gently toss to combine.
- Serve right away.
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Copyright 2012 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.