I created this colorful salad for a 4-H project and took it all the way to the state competition, where I won first place! I’d love to have my own Italian restaurant someday.—Seth Murdoch, Red Rock, Texas
- 2 each large sweet yellow, red and green peppers
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon each minced fresh oregano, rosemary, basil and parsley
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 carton (8 ounces) fresh mozzarella cheese pearls
- 5 fresh basil leaves
- Broil peppers 4 in. from the heat until skins blister, about 5 minutes. With tongs, rotate peppers a quarter turn. Broil and rotate until all sides are blistered and blackened. Immediately place peppers in a large bowl; cover and let stand for 20 minutes.
- Peel off and discard charred skin. Remove stems and seeds. Cut peppers into thin strips; place in a large bowl. Add onion.
- In a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, herbs, garlic, garlic powder, cayenne, pepper and salt; pour over pepper mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
- Before serving, allow peppers to come to room temperature. Place on a serving plate; top with tomatoes, cheese and basil leaves. Yield: 5 servings.
Originally published as Roasted Pepper Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette in Taste of Home August/September 2011, p21
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