Roasted Peppers & Buffalo Mozzarella Warm Salad
I simply adore roasted peppers! The smoky aroma is something I particularly associate with memories of home, Sicily, where during summer street vendors in my dad's hometown of Noto roasted them on barbecues at every corner, in the scorching August sun.
Another memory is of roasting them in our small veranda in our rented summer home, the burnt skin of peppers and ashes from the BBQ flying all over at the first gust of wind.
Seasoned simply with olive oil and salt, peppers (the red kind being my favourite for their intense flavour and slight sweetness) taste wonderful on bruschetta, on pizza, as a pesto with pasta, basically they go well with anything!
They can be roasted in the oven, though I strongly suggest roasting them on the job with an open flame, like our grandmothers used to do, as the smokiness coming from cooking them this way makes all the difference.
To remove the burnt skin once roasted, a trick is to cover them with a kitchen towel, or place them in paper bags (the ones used for bread), just to let them sweat for a few minutes and the skin will peel off easily.
Here I made a warm salad by combining the peppers with buffalo mozzarella, toasted pine nuts seasoned with an aromatic garlic oil, fresh herbs. Just four ingredients but a truly unique flavour.
3 peppers (2 red, 1 yellow)
250g buffalo mozzarella
3 tbsp pine nuts
4 tbsp garlic oil (or regular olive oil)
A handful of chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Roast the peppers on the job on a medium open flame or grill, turning th regularly until all or most of the skin has blackened.
Transfer them to a glass or metal bowl and cover them with a lid or kitchen towel while still very hot, to let them sweat for 20 minutes.
When cooled down enough to handle, peel off the skin, remove the seeds and tear them into strips.
Place them on a serving platter, topped with the buffalo mozzarella.
Lightly toast the pine nuts in the garlic oil and pour it over the peppers and mozzarella.
Season with salt and pepper and top with fresh parsley before serving.