This is a delicious, refreshing salad that can be served as an appetizer alongside some crusty bread, or as an accompaniment to grilled meats. —Lauren Shockey
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: Lauren is a NYC-based food writer and a recipe powerhouse from Food52’s early days.
WHAT: A make-ahead salad that’s fresh, sweet, vinegary, and ready for your late summer barbecue.
HOW: Broil bell peppers until they’re charred, then remove their skin. Cut the peppers into strips and let them marinate with garlic paste, mint, and olive oil overnight. Let the peppers come to room temperature, toss with balsamic vinegar, and serve alongside your favorite grilled dishes.
WHY WE LOVE IT: With the help of an overnight marinade with garlic, mint, and olive oil, bell peppers become significantly sweeter and more pungent. Keep a container of this salad in the refrigerator and you’ll be unfazed by any last-minute dinner party invitations or spontaneous potlucks. —The Editors
Preheat the broiler. Place peppers on a baking sheet and broil for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until their skin is charred. Transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let them sit 20 minutes, then gently peel the skin off of the peppers and remove and discard the seeds and the stem. Slice the peppers into 2 inch-wide strips.
Using a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic until it forms a paste. Place the garlic paste in a bowl and add the olive oil, the mint leaves, and some salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Place the pepper strips in the bowl and coat well. Let marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
About 30 minutes before serving, remove the peppers from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature. Add the balsamic vinegar and toss to coat.
Lauren Shockey is a New York City-based food writer and author of the cookbook Hangover Helper as well as the culinary memoir Four Kitchens. Previously the restaurant critic at the Village Voice, she has written for such publications as The New York Times, Travel + Leisure and the Wall Street Journal.