Bell Pepper Salad (capsicum) with Grilled Polenta

Christmas Shoulder Pork Roast
January 2, 2008
Dark Cherry Clafoutis
April 4, 2008

I have been greatly inspired by David Rocco’s Dolce Vita series. It’s so refreshing to watch Nina and him travel and cook his daily Italian food. Italian food is definitely more than pizza and spaghetti, there is the insalate, the florentina, the frittata and the countless types of cheeses. I am now on a mission to cook and eat Italian food at this moment.

I have always love roasted bell peppers (capsicums) but have not succumbed to making skinless roasted peppers, mainly because I did not like the idea of charring the peppers over gas burners. A healthier option would be over some charcoal fire but then again who would in a right mind would fire up a load of charcoal just for this mundane work. Lighting the charcoal itself proves to be very tedious work for me at this very moment. Anyway to cut my blabbering, I used the gas burners.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 can of flat anchovies in olive oil
2 large yellow peppers
2 medium red peppers
a handful of black olives (seeded and halved)
a handful of yellow and red baby tomatoes (halved)
4 cloves garlic (chopped roughly)
extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp parsley (freshly chopped)
sea salt
black pepper


  1. Toast the peppers over the gas burners to char the skin and immediately throw them into a big paper bag and knotted to trap the steam. This is to enable the skin of the peppers to come off easily when scrapped with a paring knife. Remove the  skin, seeds and core of the peppers, leaving only the flesh which is then cut into 1/2 cm long strips. Place ready peppers aside.
  2. Heat up a pan and drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil. Throw in the prepared peppers, tomatoes and olives. Stir for 2 minutes.
  3. Add chopped garlic, anchovies (including the olive oil) and stir for another 3 – 4 minutes.
  4. In goes the chopped parsley.
  5. Lastly, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

I just love the soft and warm textures of the roasted bell peppers in this salad, makes me feel I am in Italy just tucking it in.

This is not all. I am serving my bell pepper salad with grilled polenta slices. Polenta is a product of cornmeal, originated from South America if I am not mistaken. It makes a good replacement for potatoes or rice. This is a very simple recipe, easy to make and good to eat.

Grilled Polenta

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 litre of filtered water
1/2 tsp fine chili flakes (for color)
200 gm polenta
50 gm butter
50 gm cheddar cheese (grated)
1 sprig of rosemary (stalk removed)
1 tsp chopped parsley
sea salt
black pepper
olive oil


  1. Bring water to boil, put in chili flakes and add polenta into the boiling water in a continuous stream, whisking at all times for approx. 2 minutes.
  2. Add butter, cheese, rosemary  leaves and parsley, lower heat and whisk for another 2 minutes until you get a bubbly molten lava textured polenta. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour into a greased large round baking tin to cool before placing into the fridge for 5 hours to harden.
  3. Take polenta out and cut polenta into preferred shapes and sizes. Leave to room temperature for 30 minutes. Heat a grill or griddle, drizzle with olive oil and place the cut polenta slices onto the grill for 2 minutes each side just to create the grilled effect. Serve polenta slices hot with bell pepper salad. Don’t forget your wine and Italian accent!

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