We were invited to dinner at some friends’ house the other day, and I decided to bring a salad that was a bit different (I know, how out of character of me to do something different and unexpected). I chose to make a delicious roasted pepper salad from Barcelona. You might be asking is this salad from Barcelona, Spain or from Barcelona the Restaurant? Both Actually. The recipes from the restaurant in the RiNo district of Denver (River North) Dining in the RiNo, are all authentic recipes from Barcelona Spain. The restaurant specializes in traditional Spanish recipes and tapas. Birthday Celebrations – Part 2 – Barcelona, Another Birthday in the Books, A Taste of Barcelona in My Kitchen Barcelona, the restaurant, is actually one of my favorite restaurants around, but unfortunately, we do not get a chance to go very often. So, I bought the book and brought the recipes home with me. I can bring the tastes of Barcelona into my kitchen anytime I like. 🙂
I pretty much love all things Spanish. I absolutely fell in love with Spain when we went a few years ago, and especially loved the food. The food and culture in Spain were so rich and full of layers, and just amazing and magical.
This salad is very easy to make, and it is bright and colorful and oh so good. In fact, I liked it so much, Noah and I are going to do a slightly different version of this salad today in our cooking class. When I made this salad to bring to our friends’ house, I made it as a side salad. Today, Noah and I are going to make it as a main meal by adding chicken and avocados.
One of the ingredients used in this salad is hearts of palm, which are very Spanish. Hearts of palm are a white vegetable that comes from the core of certain kinds of palm trees. Also called palm hearts, palm cabbage, palmito, chonta, and swamp cabbage. Hearts of palm are grown in humid and tropical areas like Costa Rica and the Amazon. Hearts of palm were originally foods of the Mayans, but were brought back to Spain by the early Spanish explorers, and have been a key ingredient to Spanish cooking ever since.
Part of the reason I decided upon this salad is because it is a good winter salad, and it was most definitely a cold, wintery day when I made it. I also chose it because I love the combination and it is just a very tasty salad. This salad is a good salad to serve on cold winter days because of the warm roasted peppers. This salad is meant to be served warm or at room temperature.
Roasted Pepper and Hearts of Palm Salad
I started off by roasting the peppers on an open fire. I used red, yellow and orange bell peppers. As the pepper were roasting, I made the rosemary shallot vinaigrette. Roast the peppers until they are completely blackened and then sweat them in a plastic bag for about 20-30 minutes. The blackened skin will easily peel right off in your fingers. Remove the seeds and give them a good rinse, and then slice them into thin strips.
Rosemary Shallot Vinaigrette
1 shallot, minced
1 1/4 cups olive oil
1 tsp paprika
dash cayenne pepper
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
3 TBSP Dijon mustard
salt & pepper to taste
1 TBSP garlic
1 TBSP fresh rosemary, minced
Whisk everything together and set aside. I like lots of texture in my foods, so I rarely emulsify my dressings and vinaigrettes, but if you prefer them a bit more smooth, put everything into the food processor and blend thoroughly.
4 bell peppers, orange, yellow and red, roasted, peeled and seeded, then cut into thin strips
2 ripe avocados, sliced or cubed (I left out the avocados this time, since Larry is not a fan)
1 can hearts of palm, drained, rinsed and sliced into rings
red leaf or green leaf or butter lettuce
Lay the lettuce leaves on your serving platter, then add a layer of pepper strips, followed by the avocadoes, then the hearts of palm. Drizzle the dressing on top and serve. This salad is a warm salad and is best at room temperature.
!Esta ensalada es excelente or this salad is excellent. It is different, delicious and slightly exotic all at the same time. I promise, you’re going to love it. it’s colorful. It’s tasty. It’s very easy to make. And, it is very healthy too.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.