A twist on a beloved classic, featuring fiery roasted bell peppers along with creamy fresh mozzarella in an ode to summer. Fresh, bright, unexpected and utterly divine!
“Mom!! Something’s burning!”
EVERY TIME I roast bell peppers.?
Now, mind you, I hear this a lot. I probably roast peppers once a week. They’re a family favorite all around!
Yet without fail, one of my kids will let me know that there’s something burning in the oven. I suppose it’s a good thing that they are on alert!
You would have thought I’d have trained their noses by now to that smoky sweet smell… which means it’s pepper roasting time!
If you haven’t roasted your own bell peppers before, you are in for a treat. I’ve got a technique so super simple and quick, I bet you’ll be roasting peppers almost as often as I do! There’s nothing quite like a home roasted bell pepper.
Certainly, I buy the jarred roasted peppers and utilize them in my kitchen frequently (and especially when peppers aren’t at their peak), but for this summertime salad, you’ve got to go homemade. It makes ALL the difference.
Caprese Salad is named for the sunny island off the coast of Italy, Capri, where the dish originated.
But the term “Caprese” can be used for any dish that uses the trifecta of tomatoes, basil and mozzarella (think caprese sandwiches, chicken caprese, etc).
Most people are familiar with this classic combo. Lord knows I’ve made my fair share of these salads (and still do! ?).
But you also know that I LOVE taking classic dishes and giving them a little twist. Using roasted bell peppers is a fun, flavorful deviation from the norm!
This explains my usual method, where I slice and pop them under the broiler. During grilling season, however, I’ll sometimes throw the peppers on the grill whole if I’ve got it going for another dish. In this case, after they’re nicely charred, wrap them whole in foil until cool enough to peel and seed.
Are There Any Substitutions?
- If you don’t have access to Key Lime Lexi Mediterranean Citrus Seasoning Blend (sold only in Bealls stores), see my note on how to substitute.
- As mentioned in the post, the quality of the ingredients make this dish and beyond the spice blend, there aren’t really any substitutions that will work well. Don’t take a shortcut here and use jarred peppers… it just won’t be the same. Also make sure to use a good olive oil for maximum flavor.
Any Ways to Zest it Up?
- A few red pepper flakes would add some nice subtle heat
- Scatter some marinated olives on the plate
- A few slices of prosciutto and toasted bread takes this in more of an antipasto direction
- I might humbly suggest that anchovies make anything better! Just layer them right on. (But don’t do both prosciutto AND anchovies together.)
Can I Make This Ahead?
Yes. Assemble the plate and refrigerate. Take out about 20 minutes before serving to take the chill off, and drizzle the oil mixture over just before serving.
Roasted Bell Pepper Caprese Salad
- 3-4 red orange, or yellow bell peppers
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella or burrata cheese
- A handful of basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon Key Lime Lexi Mediterranean spice blend see notes for substitutions
- 2 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Turn on your broiler in the oven and position the rack 10-12 inches away. Line a baking sheet with a sheet of aluminum foil.
- Cut each bell pepper along the ribs and remove the stem and seeds, and cut out any white ribs from the inside. Place skin side up on the baking sheet and place under the broiler. Within 5-10 minutes, they should be blackened (you may need to turn the baking sheet half way through so they char evenly).
- When the peppers are all evenly charred, remove the baking sheet from the oven and carefully wrap the foil around the peppers, sealing the edges so that the peppers steam in the foil pocket. Let sit until cool enough to handle.
- Remove the skin from the peppers and discard. Cut the mozzarella in slices or tear into pieces and layer the bell pepper and cheese on a serving plate. Scatter the basil leaves around the top and crack some freshly ground black pepper over the dish.
- In a small bowl, combine the oil and the spice blend. Serve on the side, or drizzle it on top and serve.
Tips & Tricks
- If you do not have Key Lime Lexi Mediterranean Spice Blend, you can substitute:
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ⅛ teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Pinch of dried thyme
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