ROASTED CAPSICUM SALAD WITH LACTOSE FREE RICOTTA AND GLUTEN FREE SOURDOUGH CROUTONS
Gluten free, nut free, lactose free, FODMAP friendly, vegetarian
For the salad:
- 1 batch of lactose free ricotta see notes for recipe or regular deli style ricotta
- 5-6 large capsicums I used 4 large red and 2 small yellow
For the drizzle:
- 1-2 tablespoons roasted capsicum liquid scale up or down as you see fit
- 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2-1 tablespoon light brown sugar you can use an equal ratio of the three if you prefer a sweeter glaze
For the lemon croutons:
- Stale gluten free sourdough I used around 200g, see notes for recipe
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
- Good quality olive oil
- A herb basil or mint would be nice
- Some toasted nuts pine nuts or walnuts would be lovely
- Some chilli flakes paste or oil
- Olives or capers
TO PREPARE THE CAPSICUMS:
Preheat the oven to 200C or 400F. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper so that no liquid will meander onto the tray. Rub a teaspoon of olive oil into your palms and light coat the capsicums so that the skin will be easier to remove later. Place the capsicums into the oven for 1 hour, or until their skin is blackened and blistered and flesh soft.
Remove from the oven and transfer into a heatproof bowl, liquid and all. Place a cool baking tray over the top so that no steam can escape. Allow the capsicums to sit for 10-15 minutes – the steam will assist in removing their skins.
Once the capsicums are cooled, take an individual capsicum and hold it over a bowl, stem facing the bowl. Pull on the stem and allow it, along with the liquid and (hopefully) seeds to fall into the bowl. Peel the capsicum and place the peel in the bowl, the flesh in a new bowl. Try to get the seeds off where possible but don’t be precious about it, and definitely don’t rinse the capsicum!
Repeat with the remaining capsicums until you have a bowl of beautiful roasted cap.
TO MAKE THE LEMON CROUTONS:
Tear or slice your stale bread into small, bite sized chunks. If you can still tear it (super stale bread is easier to cut) torn pieces tend to get crispier and have a more interesting texture and appearance.
Heat a large skillet over a medium heat. Add a good glug of good quality olive oil – the staler the bread, the more oil it will need, but only add oil as you see fit.
Zest the lemon straight into the oil, and add the seasoning. Throw the bread into the skillet and toss well to coat in the oil and flavours. Turn the heat up a little and cook until the bread is golden brown and crispy. Again, add a little extra oil if necessary. These croutons are best served warm, particularly if the bread is super stale. They tend to dry up again inside if left to cool.
Layer all the ingredients on the plate and dress with the balsamic glaze. Add a little finishing salt and some freshly cracked pepper, along with any other extras you’re using. Serve immediately if you can, although it does make nice leftovers provided you moisten the croutons a little.