Monday, July 15, 2013

Arugula Roasted Red Pepper and White Bean Salad

In the summer when it's really hot, I often find dinner inspiration by going to the local farm markets and just looking over produce. Often you can make a great meal with everything you find there and a few things in your pantry, which makes for some amazingly cheap and healthy eating.

Don't let the anchovies scare you off. They don't give you a fishy flavour at all, just some salty depth that melds into the salad. When I'm buying them, it seems to make more sense to buy the ones that come in a jar that I can screw a lid back on rather than the sardine tin unless I plan to use them all fairly soon. Sure, the jar is more expensive but they last longer and I'm not throwing away leftover anchovies.  Also, you could use baby peppers for this salad, but if they are very small you might need a few more than four. I think some fresh avocado may add some great flavour to this salad as well. Pair it up with some crusty bread or home made focaccia and you've got yourself a tasty lunch or light dinner. The bread in the photo actually is Turkish Bread from Cobs Bakery, which is one of the only bakery chains where we can get bread that's not full of soybean oil or soy flour.

Roasted Red Pepper and White Bean Salad


4 small red/orange/yellow bell peppers
2 anchovy fillets packed in olive oil, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp sherry vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 can (15 oz) small white beans /white kidney beans
2-3 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
1-2 cups packed baby arugula, watercress, or a mixture of the two


To roast the peppers, you can use a few different methods (a barbecue, over a gas burner) but I just use the broiler on my stove. In my case, I turn the broiler to high, cover an old baking sheet with foil, and broiled the peppers about 4-6 inches from the element until they are blackened and blistered. Set them aside and allow them to cool before peeling off the skins and cutting the peppers in half (or quarters like I did), removing the core and the seeds. (see more detailed directions here)

In a small bowl, whisk together the anchovies, sherry vinegar, garlic, olive oil, and parsley. Set aside.

Toss the peppers, arugula, and beans with the dressing and parmesan in a large bowl. Divide the mixture among four plates and give each a sprinkle of salt and cracked pepper. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living

Want more dinner salads? My family loves them.

Roasted corn and black beans with feta on baby greens

Grilled chicken with avocado and melon

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