Sunday, March 21, 2010

Healthy alert: Broccoli and Roasted Red Pepper Salad

I love spending Sunday afternoons cooking. Whether it's a hearty mushroom soup or a healthy grain salad like last week, it's a relaxing way to spend the day and enjoy being at home. I often make a meal of a vegetable salad garnished with some bread, smoked salmon, cheese, rice or pasta. And this is the perfect salad for exactly this. Two people can enjoy this as a light lunch or four people can have it as a tasty side dish. Whichever you choice, I promise you'll enjoy this healthy salad and be going back for seconds.

Broccoli and Roasted Red Pepper Salad (serves 2-4)
Adapted from Deborah Madison

1 large head of broccoli
2 red peppers, roasted
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 clove of garlic
1 shallot, diced
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup Kalmata olives, pitted and quartered
salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, shallot, both vinegars, salt and pepper to taste. Let stand for 15 minutes, then mix in the oil, diced tomatoes and olives. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Set aside.

Meanwhile, slice each pepper in half and clean out the insides. Place onto a baking tray cut side down and roast them in a hot oven under the broiler for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the skins are charred and blackened.

Once they have reached this point, take them out of the oven and place each half into a brown paper bag or something (pot, bowl) that you can place a lid on. Once the peppers have cooled and the skins have loosen, peel away the charred peel and slice into small cubes.

Chop up the broccoli into bite-size florets. Peel and dice the stems. Blanch both the stems and the florets together in boiling salted water for two minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.

In a large bowl, add the broccoli, chopped red peppers, parsley, crumbled feta cheese and the tomato vinaigrette. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy.

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