Roasted Bell Pepper and Spinach Salad

I’m not a fan of too many raw veggies; I prefer them slightly cooked, or tender/crisp. This Mediterranean style salad fits the bill perfectly. It’s has a luscious, warm taste profile that brings to mind the Greek Isles (I wish! I’ll get there someday). This makes a serving for 4, but feel free to modify it for larger or smaller amounts. You can also get creative with the ingredients; I’ve left out the onion, added chopped carrots and a clove of garlic, and made a few substitutions when my pantry supplies were running low. This looks like too much olives, so if you want to you can always add less that this recipe calls for. (I like olives!)

2 tbsps. good quality extra-virgin olive oil

4 or 5 baby (or Gypsy) red and yellow bell peppers, sliced in thin strips

1 large green bell pepper, sliced in thin strips

1 small white onion, sliced in thin strips (or Frenched)

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

3 baby Bella mushrooms, sliced

3 cups fresh spinach leaves

1/4 cup sliced Kalamata olives, maybe less depending on taste

1/4 cup sliced black olives, depending on taste

1/4 cup sliced pimento-stuffed green olives, depending on taste

1/2 tsp. capers

1/2 cup crumbled goat or Feta cheese

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat for about 1 minute. Throw in the bell pepper and onion slices and sauté until they become blistered, stirring frequently. The skin of the peppers will bubble and begin to blacken, just keep them moving around in the skillet.

Meanwhile, in a salad bowl of the appropriate size, place the spinach leaves, the olives, and capers.

When the peppers and onions have blackened sufficiently, throw in the tomatoes and mushroom slices. You only want to leave them on the heat long enough to heat through, but not cook and become mushy, about 2 minutes or so.

Spoon the veggies in the skillet over the spinach and olive mixture and toss lightly. Sprinkle with goat or Feta cheese and serve immediately. You don’t need any additional dressing, but Reese always adds some Ranch (he can’t help himself!)