This salad was not about using something up, that was the rest of the meal, but it was so fresh and easy, I had to share it. As far as using food items up, I added some mayonnaise to the leftover boiled new potatoes tossed in Basil Pesto from a couple of nights earlier, to make a very nice potato salad. This is one I will make again....on purpose this time!
The chicken thighs were marinated in a roasted red pepper vinaigrette that neither one of us loves...this added quite a bit of flavour, and allowed me to use it for something other than salad.
As I had some beautiful sweet red peppers and grape tomatoes, tons of fresh basil in the garden and a block of feta cheese I came up with this salad as an accompaniment.
Cut two sweet red peppers into large pieces, removing the seeds and white pith from inside.
Toss in a drizzle of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Grill, turning once, until slightly charred on both sides. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Place the grape tomatoes onto skewers, as this makes them easier to control, and less likely to fall through the grill.
Lightly oil and season, and grill, turning as needed, until all sides are slightly charred and starting to split or wrinkle.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
When cool enough to handle, gently pull the tomatoes off the skewers and place in a bowl.
Thinly slice the peppers, and add to the tomatoes, along with:
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup cubed or crumbled feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Balsamic vinegar to taste and a drizzle of olive oil if you feel it is needed.
Mix gently, taste and adjust seasoning.
As I mentioned, I served this with grilled chicken thighs and a pesto potato salad. The freshness of this salad was a nice contrast to the rich mayonnaise and pesto on the potatoes. Very summery and light, perfect for barbecue and picnic season!
- The red peppers and tomatoes do not have to be grilled, they can be cut and used fresh. I like the smoky flavour of roasted / grilled peppers, that was the reason I did them this way.
- If you have peppers of different colours, or tomatoes of different colours, your salad will brighten the table up even more.
- Another cheese that will work nicely is soft goat cheese, as it also has a tangy flavour to it. It would also add a creaminess to the salad.
- If you do not have fresh basil, but have Basil Pesto in the freezer, defrost some and use it as your dressing. You will still get the fresh basil taste, but also the added zing of garlic.