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Arugula, Roasted Bell Pepper and White Bean Salad

Carl Tremblay / America's Test Kitchen

Chef notes

Velvety strips of roasted bell peppers added meaty substance to a simple but robust white bean and arugula salad, making it dinner-worthy. Minced shallot contributed a mild onion flavor. Briny olives and a vinegary dressing balanced the bell peppers' sweetness. We like to use small white beans, such as great Northern or navy, in this recipe. Pair the salad with crusty bread for a light meal.

Technique tip: Cooking times will vary depending on the broiler and the thickness of the bell pepper walls, so watch the bell peppers carefully as they cook. Green bell peppers retain some bitterness even when roasted and so are best used as a complement to sweeter red, yellow and orange bell peppers; do not use more than one here.


Roasted Bell Peppers (makes 1½ cups)
  • 3 large bell peppers
    • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
    • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 15-ounce can small white beans, rinsed
    • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped coarse
    • 5 ounces arugula (5 cups)


    For the roasted bell peppers:


    Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil spray. Slice ½ inch from tops and bottoms of bell peppers. Gently remove stems from tops. Twist and pull out each core, using knife to loosen at edges if necessary. Cut slit down 1 side of each bell pepper.


    Turn each bell pepper skin side down and gently press so it opens to create long strip. Slide knife along insides of bell peppers to remove remaining ribs and seeds.


    Arrange bell pepper strips, tops, and bottoms skin side up on prepared sheet and flatten all pieces with your hand. Adjust oven rack 3 to 4 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Broil until skin is puffed and most of surface is well charred, 10-13 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through broiling.


    Using tongs, pile bell peppers in center of foil. Gather foil over bell peppers and crimp to form pouch. Let steam for 10 minutes. Open foil packet and spread out bell peppers. When cool enough to handle, peel bell peppers and discard skins. Bell peppers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

    For the salad:

    Whisk vinegar, oil, parsley, shallot, salt and pepper together in large bowl. Add bell peppers, beans, and olives and stir gently until well coated. Set aside for 15 minutes to allow flavors to meld.

    Set aside 1½ cups bell pepper mixture. Add arugula to remaining bell pepper mixture and toss to combine. Transfer to platter. Serve, topped with reserved bell pepper mixture.