Multicolored Pepper-and-Bean Salad with Ricotta Salata and Herbs
You can prepare the vegetables up to two hours before serving and keep them covered in the refrigerator. If desired, include some poblano or other chiles along with the peppers. You can substitute feta cheese for ricotta salata.
- Coarse salt
- 1/2 pound green beans, ends trimmed
- 1/2 pound yellow wax beans, ends trimmed
- 3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced into half-moons (about 3/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained (optional)
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 pounds assorted bell peppers, quartered, seeds and ribs removed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
- 6 to 7 ounces fresh ricotta salata cheese
Prepare a large ice bath; set aside. Fill a stockpot with water; bring to a boil, and add a generous amount of salt. Add green beans and wax beans to boiling water, and cook just until they are crisp-tender and their color brightens, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer beans to ice bath to stop cooking and to preserve the color. Drain, and pat dry with paper towels. Slice larger beans in half lengthwise. Set aside in a large bowl.
Make vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine shallots, capers (if using), vinegar, and a pinch of salt; let stand 15 minutes. Whisking constantly, slowly add olive oil.
Meanwhile, slice peppers as thinly as possible using a sharp knife or mandoline. Add to bowl with beans. Drizzle vinaigrette over, and toss to combine; season with salt and black pepper. Just before serving, tear basil and mint leaves into small pieces, and crumble ricotta salata. Stir herbs and cheese into salad, and serve.