Q: How do you get more flavor from your vegetables if you’re not allowed to have a grill on your apartment balcony?
A: You char them in a cast iron skillet or fire roast them on the stove top!
I couldn’t decide what I wanted to make for dinner the other day, so I stopped by the grocery store to see what vegetables looked nice or inspired me. I had some romaine lettuce and chicken breasts at home, so I was leaning toward making a salad. The poblano peppers and red peppers looked beautiful, so I grabbed one of each and a red onion as well.
Roasted peppers have such a wonderful flavor and are easy to prepare. Plus, by roasting the peppers, you are able to get rid of the bitter skins which are also hard to digest.
How to Roast a Pepper
Place the pepper directly on the grate of a gas stove top and turn the flame on high. Use tongs to rotate the pepper once the first side is charred until it is black all over. Then, place the pepper in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or place in a Ziploc bag and seal. Once the pepper is cool enough to touch, place a paper towel on your cutting board (which helps minimize the mess) and use another paper towel to pull the charred skin off the pepper. You’ll be tempted to rinse the pepper under running water, but don’t give in. You’ll actually wash some of the flavor away! Once the skin is removed, open the pepper to remove the seeds and then slice or dice.
Shelley also shows you how to do it in this video:
For the red onion, I sliced it into rounds, heated my cast iron skillet over medium heat, added a touch of oil and placed the onion in the skillet. I didn’t turn the onion until the first side was nice and caramelized. Flip and repeat. Rough chop when cool.
I used the same skillet to sear the chicken breasts while I prepared the rest of the salad. For added texture and flavor, I threw sliced cucumber, shredded carrot and a handful of walnuts into the salad.
My new favorite homemade salad dressing is tahini, lemon or lime juice, a touch of water and olive oil, salt and pepper. It’s light and delicious!
Try this at home, and let me know what you think in the comments.