Bell Pepper Salad – Refreshingly simple salad of fresh, ripe bell peppers minimally seasoned to highlight the bright flavors. This is that quick, salad to compliment any meat dish whether grilled, fried, or roasted.
A Bell Pepper Salad is the quintessential James Brown salad. My grandfather was all about the ingredients and making simple touches to allow them to shine. In his mind, if you bought quality ingredients then you shouldn’t need any fancy add-ons to make a good dish. Quality didn’t necessarily mean expensive, as we easily fit the government’s definition of poor and his choices in whiskey reflected our socio-economic status. We were Wild Turkey vs. Pappy Van Winkle. Pops knew from his childhood days working the land that using seasonal ingredients provided fruits and vegetables at their “best” and was also a more cost-efficient way to shop.
Between the garden and the Dallas Farmer’s market, peppers of different sorts were easily available to us. We had different color bell peppers, sweet peppers, and a host of different chili peppers. The chili peppers were used extensively to make vinegar-based pepper and hot sauces. The sweet and bell peppers were used in every side or side salad you could think of from potato salads and slaws to bean salads. But it was the bell pepper salad that was my favorite. It was spartan but soooo tasty. Just thinly sliced bell peppers and onions with vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper.
Ironically, for all the time I spent with my grandfather, this bell pepper salad is the only dish we “technically” cooked together. Furthermore, it’s the only dish I can recall ever physically contributing to – and really I don’t know if I’d call it cooking, and maybe that was the lesson, cause there was always a lesson with pops. The dish is just chop chop chop plus mix with wet ingredients and serve. Side dishes for most was a main entree for him. Dinner/lunch was the salad with a side of raw onion chased with some cheap whiskey. I guess if raw onions are your dessert, any whiskey will do. I remember sneaking a sip and making the bitterest of bitter beer faces right as he returned from washing his hands. There was no admonishment or beating of any sort. He just smiled and told me to pass him his glass. Though no words were spoken, there was a lesson or two there as well. Any interest I may have had in drinking was destroyed for years, and later in mature years, I was motivated to make a living that afforded me quality whiskey.
I tweaked the original pepper salad recipe by adding some raw collards. The vinaigrette essentially pickles or cooks the raw ingredients in the same fashion lime juice is used in ceviche; it’s a similar process and result. And like good ceviche, ingredients matter, and make the difference in a good ceviche vs. a great one.
Bell Pepper Salad
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Dope beats, fresh eats, enjoy this bell pepper salad recipe a great complement to grilled meats and fried chicken recipes. The high acidity in the salad helps break up fatty proteins.
Bell Pepper Salad
Refreshingly simple Pepper Salad featuring fresh, ripe peppers minimally seasoned to highlight the bright flavors and compliment any meat dish.
- 1 lb sweet multi-colored bell peppers
- 1/2 of a medium red onion thinly sliced
- 1 bunch collard greens de-stemmed and sliced into thin strips
- 2 1/2 Tbsp white vinegar
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt or to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper
- . Remove the tops and seeds from bell peppers, then cut them in half lengthwise and cut into thin strips. Transfer sliced bell peppers to a large mixing bowl.
- Add onion and collard greens to the bowl
- Combine vinegar with olive oil, salt and pepper. Whisk the dressing together then pour over salad ingredients and stir well to combine. Add more salt and pepper as needed.