Grilled Sweet Pepper Salad With Ricotta And Summer Herbs

This bright and flavorful salad will have you running to the farmers' market for peppers.

Grilled Sweet Pepper Salad With Ricotta And Summer Herbs
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active Time:
25 mins
Grill Time:
15 mins
Marinate Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
55 mins

This unique side dish is destined to grace your spring and summer dinner party tables. Our Grilled Sweet Pepper Salad with Ricotta and Summer Herbs highlights fresh peppers, which are charred on the grill, then tossed in a bright, herby marinade. The marinade is acidic from red wine vinegar and lemon, but balanced by the sweetness in the peppers and pepper juices: the result is a sweet-tangy oil mixture that coats the peppers. A relatively tame, fresh cheese, ricotta is a good choice for a simple salad; here, the ricotta adds richness and doesn't overpower the complex flavors of the peppers. For a little spice, replace about ¼-pound of the sweet peppers with assorted hot peppers such as poblanos, serrano chiles, or hot wax peppers.

Though this salad is designed to highlight seasonal produce, you can make this recipe year-round with standard grocery store bell peppers. Using a variety of colors adds visual pop to this slightly-sweet, slightly-spicy side. A tip from the Test Kitchen: Charring the peppers makes the skin paper-like and unsavory, so it's important to remove the skins. The steaming process helps the smoky flavor from the grill infuse into the peppers and makes peeling a breeze.


  • 8 medium-size multicolored bell peppers (4 lb., 4 oz. total)

  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

  • 1 cup roughly torn fresh summer herbs (such as basil, mint, and oregano), plus more for garnish

  • 2 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar 

  • 2 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 2 medium garlic cloves, grated (about ¾ tsp.)

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper, plus more for garnish 

  • ¾ cup whole-milk ricotta cheese 

  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts

  • Flaky sea salt


  1. Preheat grill to high (450°F to 500°F). Toss bell peppers with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place peppers on oiled grates; grill, covered, turning occasionally, until charred in spots and softened, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let steam 10 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, stir together herbs, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt, black pepper, and ¼ cup of olive oil in a large serving bowl. Remove and discard skins and seeds from peppers. Cut peppers into thick strips. Add to herb mixture in bowl; toss to coat. Let marinate 15 minutes, and toss again. Top with dollops of ricotta, and sprinkle with pine nuts. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and garnish with sea salt and additional torn fresh herbs and black pepper.

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