Roasting peppers under the broiler brings out a sweet earthiness that pairs wonderfully with summery basil. So that the raw onions wouldn't overtake the more delicate flavours of this salad, I soaked them in balsamic vinegar first, softening their bite and muting their pungency. Onions can be soaked in ice water to achieve a similar effect, but I find that vinegar (or anything acidic) mellows them the best. An acidic soak also seems to lessen the heartburn and other unpleasant reactions that some people have to raw onions. Give it a try!
- 3 - 4 sweet peppers
- 1/2 - 1 onion
- 1 bunch of basil
- balsamic vinegar
- olive oil
1) Cut peppers in half and place skin side up in a shallow baking dish or on a cookie sheet. Brush with olive oil and put under the broiler.
2) Remove peppers when skins are thoroughly blackened, about 5-15 minutes, depending on how hot your broiler is.
3) Put peppers in a glass bowl and cover with a lid for about 20 minutes. The steam from the peppers will loosen the skins and make them easier to peel.
3) Meanwhile, slice onions thinly and place in a small bowl with balsamic vinegar to soak. You will need just enough vinegar to wet all the onions, about 2-4 tbsp.
5) When the peppers are cool enough to touch, peel the skins with a paring knife. Don't worry about getting every scrap of skin off so long as the blackened parts are removed.
6) Slice peeled peppers and combine with onion and basil. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar from the bowl the onions soaked in. Salt to taste and serve.