Grilled Pepper Salads

A colorful medley of grilled or roasted peppers in a light and summery vinaigrette

Pound for pound, sweet peppers are one of the most expensive vegetables in the grocery store’s produce section. They’re worth it for one or two but it’s hard to justify gorging on peppers at $1.50 a pop.

But beginning in early September, the farmers market has big baskets of sweet peppers priced for a binge, some times four for a dollar.

Side-by-side with the perfect commercial beauties, garden-grown peppers are small and odd-shaped. But they’re full of freshness and flavor. Yes, September is the month to feast on sweet bell peppers!

WARM PEPPER SALAD Arrange grilled peppers in a single layer in a baking dish. Top with an ounce of finely chopped anchovies, a handful of capers and Italian seasoning. Repeat with a second layer, then drizzle the anchovy oil over top. Let flavors meld in a 350F oven for 20 – 30 minutes. Good served warm or at room temperature.

ALANNA's TIPS I love the food processor attachment to my immersion blender. It’s the perfect size for dressings and other small jobs. Like the sound of these grilled pepper dishes in the off season? Trader Joe’s sells frozen grilled peppers that are decent if somewhat odd-sized. Just warm them in the oven for a few minutes, then scrape off the skins.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food writer Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. What are you gorging on? Send a favorite recipe to e-mail.


Smoky peppers in a pesto-ish dressing
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes
Serves 4
  • 4 large or 8 small sweet peppers (preferably a colorful mix of red, yellow, orange and green peppers)

  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley
  • 2 – 3 basil leaves
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

Grill whole peppers until charred, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer into a bowl or paper bag and seal tightly for 20 minutes. Remove the stems, cores and seeds, then cut flesh into quarters. Remove the skins and discard, then transfer peppers to serving dish.

Meanwhile, buzz the dressing ingredients in a small food processor (see ALANNA’s TIPS) or mince and mash with the back of a wooden spoon. Gently toss dressing into peppers. Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving: 99 Cal; 6g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 11g Carb; 4g Fiber; 303mg Sodium; 0mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 1 point

How to Roast Peppers in the Oven

If you like, roast the peppers in the oven rather than grill them

Unless the grill is already hot, I like to roast the peppers in the oven. Just slice the peppers in half vertically, then remove the cores, membranes and seeds. Flatten the halves skin-side up on foil on a baking sheet. Place directly under the broiler until the skins blister and blacken. (With a whole tray of peppers, you may need to do one half at a time.) Remove from the broiler and fold the foil over the peppers to form a tight packet; let rest for about 5 minutes. With your fingers, lift off and discard the skins, then slice the flesh into strips.
If you can, use thin-skinned peppers often found at the farmers market versus the thick-skinned peppers from the grocery store.
Don't be afraid to throw in a mild and smoky poblano pepper or two!

What to Make When Peppers Are Plentiful

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Red & Yellow Pepper Relish Pork & Poblano Skillet Green Chili Burgers
~ more bell pepper recipes from A Veggie Venture ~

~ more salad recipes ~

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous7/12/2007

    Oh yum! That salad looks like something that could go with anything! I could see it wrapped up in a pita with a little feta.

    I'm thinking a trip to the farmer's market may be in order soon.

  2. Great idea, Erika! Earlier this summer, I tossed with lettuce for "dressing" a supper salad. Once I also draped it over goat cheese for an appetizer. So yes: lots of creative uses!

  3. Anonymous7/12/2007

    These both are perfect right now and look divine for eating!!
    Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment.

  4. Anonymous7/12/2007

    I was waiting (and hoping) for someone to bring a pepper dish and you have made the wait worthwhile!

    I love the recipe. We are glutted with peppers and this is one I'd like to try.

    Thanks for your refreshing presence at la festa!


  5. Anonymous7/12/2007

    I rarely eat a salad made with lettuce.. my salads are usually a mix of colorful bell peppers as the base then added ingredients - but I've never had a warm pepper salad before and I'm shocked I never thought of it myself as I consume so many darn peppers! heheee This is going to be a favorite of mine, I can say this will confidence - thank you so much for opening my eyes to a new way to prepare my beloved peppers and for sharing this at the festa!

  6. Anonymous7/12/2007

    Hi I also did a pepper dish for the festa- I love roasted peppers, the flavors are so concentrated.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna