Well remember WAY back when I started my blog and had my first successful dish? Well it came from the cookbook Grilling by Louise Pickford.
The last time I used this cookbook I made Pepper ‘n Spice Chicken – you can read about it here! Time around the recipe tagged was for Roasted Bell Pepper and Asparagus Salad. At first glance I figured this recipe would an easy one to nail so I decided to make it with the ceviche from the last post.
To start off with I placed thinly sliced red onion in a colander in the sink and sprinkled with salt. That sat for a half hour.
Next I turned my attention to the dressing. The recipe called for hazelnut oil – which I went to several stores to search out before researching the best alternative – walnut oil. FYI also in my research I found out hazelnut and walnut oil have to be refrigerated after opening so keep that in mind if you pick some up. So walnut oil, olive oil, sherry vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper were all mixed together. I set the dressing aside for later.
Then I went onto the peppers. I lit my grill and placed my peppers on the grate. Even though the title of recipe is for roasted bell pepper, the side note of the recipe said that the long sweet peppers are good to use as well – since the market had those, I used them.
The peppers were to cook for 15 minutes while turning frequently to get a nice char on them. I moved onto the next step, toasted hazelnuts. So I put my hazelnuts in a skillet and let them toast. It was at this point that I noticed that my propane was out! So I brought them into the house and cooked them the rest of the way on my grill pan.
And it was also this point where I started to smell burning…or extra toasted hazelnuts.
And it was also time to rinse the salt from the onions and pat them dry on paper towels.
I put a pot of water on the stove and let that come to a bowl. Back to the peppers (while during all of these other things I am doing I am still continuing to turn) which are now nicely charred. I removed them from the grill(pan).
And, this sounded kind of crazy to me but I wanted to follow the recipe…put into a plastic bag with the plate and sealed. Then set aside to cool.
While still waiting for water to boil I was able to cut the burned sides of the hazelnuts off and roughly chop the remaining unburned part – so yay me! And when I was finished the water was boiling so I put peapods into the boiling water.
And after 2 minutes I dumped peapods and water into my colander and rinsed with cold water.
Back to the grill (or grill pan in my case) I put asparagus which I had brushed with a little olive oil.
The asparagus cooked, turning frequently for 4 minutes. In those 4 minutes I removed the peppers from their suffocation chamber. I peeled their skin, took the seeds out and sliced them into thin strips. I then compiled the pepper slices, asparagus, onion and peapods.
And I put them in a bowl with mixed salad leaves and a few parsley and dill leaves. Then I tossed them in the dressing. At this point you are also suppose to add the chopped hazelnuts but since Matt has stated his distaste for nuts on salads several time, I only put nuts on my serving of the salad.
The Verdict: This salad was so colorful and pretty but sadly didn’t really blow my breath away when it came to the taste. The dressing could have used more of a punch…or the veggies could have used more flavor? For the amount of work (and the amount of dirty dishes) because the flavor just wasn’t there I wouldn’t make this one again. FAIL.