February 20, 2009

Grilled Bell Pepper (Capsicum) Salad

I was at the market the other day, when I came across some very pretty looking lettuce, which I had never seen before. I am not very fond of salads (though I like the Indian versions like kosmalli/ koshimbir, raithas/ pachadi) and lettuce is probably my least favourite part of salads. Yet this particular lettuce was so attractive that I bought some, even though a little voice in my head kept telling me that I really shouldn't spend good money on something we don't like.

After coming home, I tried to figure out just what sort of lettuce I had bought. It looks like my lettuce goes by the name of "Lollo Rosso", and it features in this salad recipe. Does anyone know much about this lettuce and what else I could do with it other than use it in salad? I would appreciate any suggestion or more information.
My lettuce looks like some exotic coral and has ruffled light green leaves with a deep reddish brown colour towards the edge of the leaves.

Some days back, a friend who just discovered my blog and seems to be following it, asked if I could post something which was a bit sweet, had some nuts, was healthy and low on calories. I promised her I would think of something during the weekend, so M (I'm not sure she would want to see her name on the net), this salad is for you.

I had to use up the lettuce, and just made this salad by adding ingredients that I had on hand. I kept adding a bit of this and that, and so I have listed only approximate quantities. Do increase or decrease them according to your preference.


1 green bell pepper/ capsicum

1 yellow bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

1 tsp oil (for grilling the capsicum)

about 10 cherry tomatoes, halved

some lollo rosso lettuce

a handful of chopped spring onion whites

a small handful toasted walnuts, broken

a small handful of golden raisins

a few leaves of mint

some low fat paneer, crumbled

For the dressing:

1 tsp olive oil

1 tbsp orange juice

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 to 3 basil leaves, chopped

salt and crushed black pepper to taste


Put all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl (or a stoppered bottle) and whisk (or shake well a couple of times) and refrigerate till required.

Brush the bell peppers/ capsicum with the oil and grill them, till the surface starts blistering or light brown spots appear. Turn them a couple of times while grilling so they're uniformly cooked. Allow to cool, cut the peppers and remove the stalks and seeds. Dice the peppers.

Line your salad bowl with the lettuce. If you are not a lettuce lover, like us, you may prefer to tear the lettuce into smaller pieces or replace the lettuce with shredded cabbage. Of course, if you dislike cabbage then lettuce might be preferable. Lollo rosso lettuce has a faintly bitter taste (though it is not very noticeable in this salad), so you might want to use some other kind like iceberg lettuce.

Put the peppers and other ingredients, except the paneer, into the salad bowl.
Just before serving, whisk (or shake) the dressing a couple of times and add to the salad. Toss well so the dressing is well incorporated. Crumble the paneer and sprinkle it over the top. Mix a couple of times and serve.
This salad serves 3.

I have been a bit busy with various things during the past week, including guests at home and so haven't been able to find too much time for blog related matters. So please excuse me for slight delays in replying to your mails and acknowledging your submissions for FIC Orange. I shall also do my best to get around to checking what's been going on at your blogs as soon as I can.
I also want to thank Yasmeen of Health Nut who has been very nice to pass on a token of gratitude to me.


jayasree said...

Wow, that lettuce indeed looks very colorful and attractive. No wonder you could not stop yourself from buying it.

The salad looks colorful too. Looks like a bowl of that salad can make a meal by itself (for salad lovers!!)

Lakshmi Venkatesh said...

Healthy Salad. I am also not a fan of lettuces. But my son likes those salads.

Curry Leaf said...

Love the salad Aparna,i love the combo of grilled bell pepper and lettuce,though I have tried only iceberg lettuce.This lollo rosso is new to me -it looks like curly Kale from the look of it.I wish I could get to know the taste

Curry Leaf said...

I must add kale is completely green though

Poonam said...

salad looks really nice and colorful!!!

Asha said...

Nothing satisfies you like eating a good salad, specially when we are on vacation and been eating junk!! Salad looks excellent Aparna, enjoy. Have a great weekend, me got to cook for Shiva Ratri! :))

Simran said...

I don't like lollo rosso either because it's bitter but I sometimes end up buying it because it's so good looking.

What I do is pair it with another non-bitter lettuce. And my favorite combination so far is lollo rosso/gorgonzola cheese/pears/cranberries/walnuts. The other ingredients blend so well with the flavors that you will totally love it

Madhumathi said...

Your salad is fresh and healthy and is a visual treat too!

Ashwini said...

Wow colorful salad.. Nothing like a good and healthy salad..

Pearlsofeast said...

Lovely one Dear Aparna, I was really craving for it. Nice dressing.

Chris said...

This salad over some warm wild rice would be simply heavenly!

SMN said...

Aprna looks healthy and yummy.

Rachel said...

I never loved lettuce myself until I tasted it with a honey dressing...love your choice of dressing for the citrusy flavour...

Cham said...

Feed me salad anything I will be ready to eat with pleasure! That is full of godness Aparna!

karuna said...

i simply love salads and grilled bell peppers. putting them together.....perfect. loved the salad

PG said...

To me it looks quite like lollo rosso. The best thing you could do to it is to eat it in a salad and yours looks wonderful. with grilled bell peppers, yum yum!
I like to munch on lollo rosso by dipping it in a good dressing with a teaspoon of hot dijon mustard, a is not sweet like the american one and has a sharpness/hotness which gives the salad a good pep.
Lollo rosso, is usually eaten only as a salad. I don't knowwhat nutritional value it will have aftercooking or if it will taste good. And i know that lettuce is high in nitrates in general another reason not to cook them, but then spinach is also high in nitrates why it should not be re-cooked.

zlamushka said...

Hi Aparna,
Wrote you a long time ago to confirm that you are OK to host T&T in April??? please get back to me ASAP.

Sara said...

What a beautiful salad! Very colorful.

Nithya Praveen said...

These lettuce surely taste very good in salads.Your looks so colorful,very healthy:)

Soma said...

That is an awesoem salad, just my type, for i like little bites of sweet in it.. today I made a very similar salad but added barley & sweetened cranberries in place of raisin... I have no idea what else u could use the lettuce in. those are pretty!

Aparna said...

Thanks, Asha.
I saw that you had a wonderful Sivarathri.

Lakshmi, A kid who likes salads. That's really something and you're lucky.:)

Thanks Simran, that's an idea.

I think munching on any lettuce is close to impossible for me, PG. :D

Sent you a reply, Zu.

That sounds good too, Soma, though we don't get cranberries here.