Thursday, July 7, 2011

Spicy Bell Pepper Salad

My week of being a nomad is finally drawing to a close.  After driving through 5 states, as well as a quick visit home to Arizona, I finally arrived in Terre Haute, Indiana, a small college town in the midst of corn fields that I’m already kinda falling in love with.  I’m not sure what it is, but even now, it’s starting to feel like home.  Granted, having an apartment that already I am enamored with is probably making me bias.  It has new carpets!  And a room whose sole purpose will be to hold all my random junk!  And the kitchen has THREE usable counters!  One, two, Three!!  But we’ll get to that…

With one shopping trip under my belt and way too many boxes still hanging around to be unpacked, my cooking has been less than adventurous.  What it has been is centered around my new, most awesome kitchen toy.  The cheap mandolin that arrived from Amazon the day I left South Carolina.  My first day here, I made the cucumber salad I had been craving since the day I talked myself into ordering the mandolin.  Today, I ventured into the bell pepper salad world. 

Even if they weren’t from a farmer’s market, the three bell peppers I bought on the cheap this Tuesday were gorgeous; red, yellow and orange.  Seeing them sit in my near empty fridge, I thought I would see if I could find a bell pepper salad online.  You see, I hadn’t gotten enough briny goodness from my cucumber salad. 

As always, epicurious pulled through when it came to finding the right recipe, even if didn’t include that acid tang I was initially pining after.  It had stellar reviews and one of those strange but exciting combination of flavors: caraway, lemon and dill.  It seemed like a good, first adventurous try in my new kitchen.  And it was good, even if I didn’t use fresh dill.  It was summery.  And I ate it staring out my windows into the wide open field that is my view.  Terre Haute ain’t all that bad. 

Spicy Bell Pepper Salad
adapted from

1 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/3-inch-thick rings
1 orange bell pepper, cut into 1/3-inch-thick rings
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/3-inch-thick rings
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, separated into rings
6 3 x 1/2-inch strips lemon peel (yellow part only)
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 c. chopped fresh dill
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Toast caraway seeds in large skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about one minute.  Add olive oil and crushed red pepper.  Increase heat to medium high and mix in sliced bell peppers, onion, lemon peel and garlic slices.  Saute for several minutes until vegetables are "crisp-tender".

Remove salad from heat and transfer to bowl.  Remove lemon peel pieces and toss salad with lemon and chopped dill.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Note:  Can be made up to two hours ahead.  Let stand at room temperature until served.  Refrigerate leftovers.

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