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Grilled bell peppers with goat cheese and mint

August 5, 2009

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Serves 4

Colored bell peppers give this salad a bright and dressy look. To make it more substantial, top with strips of grilled chicken or flank steak and serve with toasted pita wedges.

3 large bell peppers (a mix of red, yellow, and orange)
6 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 ounces soft plain goat cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh chives
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 shallot, finely chopped
6 ounces baby spinach
1. Prepare a medium charcoal fire or light a gas grill to medium high.

2. Toss the peppers with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Grill the peppers, turning often, for 8 minutes or until they are charred and tender.

3. Transfer the peppers to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside for 10 minutes. With your finger and a paring knife, peel off the skins. Core the peppers and cut them into slices.

4. In a shallow bowl, mash the goat cheese with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mint, the chives, and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.

5. In another bowl, whisk the vinegar, salt, pepper, shallot. Beat in the remaining 5 tablespoons olive oil.

6. In a large bowl, toss the spinach with half the dressing. Transfer to 4 plates, crumble the goat cheese on top. Add peppers, drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of mint. Tony Rosenfeld