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Now to the recipe that will take you places this summer and beyond. When you have a great dressing, vinaigrette or sauce, you will find umpteen uses for it. It will make anything boring taste exciting and pull random ingredient together into something cohesive. If you have friends over, a good sauce can elevate something basic. Hello, Red Pepper Vinaigrette. You are invited to all my summer soirees! And since it’s the unofficial start of grilling season, I’ve added a grilled vegetable primer below. It’s no accident that this vinaigrette is heaven on grilled vegetables!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- This vinaigrette can be added to pretty much anything!
- It contains so few ingredients and they are all pantry staples;
- It’s so flavorful!
- It takes 30 seconds to make!
Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette Ingredients
- Roasted red peppers: you can roast your own using red bell peppers, but I usually keep a jar of fire-roasted peppers in the pantry. Once opened, store in the fridge.
- Apple cider vinegar: I prefer an organic raw and unfiltered vinegar, such as Bragg’s.
- Olive oil: look for an unrefined olive oil for best flavor.
- Garlic: I always keep a jar of peeled (I do it myself) garlic in the fridge. It’s a game changer.
How to Make Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette
Place all vinaigrette ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning. That’s it!
Tips for Making Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette and Grilled Vegetables
- Use store-bought fire roasted peppers that come in a jar to make this even easier.
- If you don’t have a strong blender or are using a food processor, I recommend mincing the garlic before blending.
- You can grill virtually anything. Some vegetables take longer than others and some need a little head start by way of steaming or blanching before hitting the grill. You are looking for char marks and tenderness when grilling veggies.
- To grill vegetables, brush vegetables lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on a grill that has been preheated to medium-high heat. Turn after achieving char marks on the underside. This can take 3 minutes or 5 minutes, depending on the type of vegetable you use. Some vegetables need to be blanched before grilling. See below for cooking suggestions. Grilled and roasted vegetables can be served hot, warm or at room temperature. They can also be cooked a day in advance and reheated in a 350- degree oven or brought to room temp.
- Eggplant – trimmed and sliced crosswise into 1⁄2-inch slices. Sprinkle one side with salt and allow to sweat for 30 minutes to draw out moisture and bitterness. Blot dry, brush with oil and grill for 4 to 5 minutes on each side.
- Ears of corn – husks removed. Grill corn until you have light grill marks, turning occasionally. About 2 minutes on each side.
- Asparagus – ends trimmed. Brush with oil and grill, turning occasionally, until tender and charred, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Sweet bell peppers – cut in half, remove stems and seeds and coat with oil. Grill skin side down until skins blister and peppers soften, 4 to 7 minutes. Flip and grill for 2 minutes.
- Shishito peppers – Heat a large skillet (preferable cast iron) over medium heat until hot. Add the oil. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the shishito peppers. Spread out into one layer and allow to cook for 2 1⁄2 minutes or until completely blackened and blistered on the underside. Flip the peppers and repeat on the other side, another 2 1⁄2 minutes. If the peppers are sufficiently blistered, but not soft, cover the pan and turn the heat down to low and cook for another minute or two. I personally prefer the peppers to be completely soft and not crunchy.
- Onion – cut crosswise into slices (anywhere between 1⁄4 – 1⁄2-inch thick). Coat with oil and grill for 4 to 5 minutes on each side.
- Scallions – leave whole. Coat with oil. Grill 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
- Portobello mushrooms – wipe clean with a damp paper towel. Stem and gills removed with a spoon. Brush with oil and grill 3 to 5 minutes on each side.
- Zucchini – trimmed and sliced lengthwise in half or into thirds or sliced on a diagonal into 1⁄2-inch slices. Brush with oil and grill for 3-4 minutes on each side.
- Fennel – stalks and/or fronds removed. Cut into wedges through the core. Coat with oil and grill 3 to 5 minutes on each side.
- Broccolini – toss to coat with oil. Grill until tender, but slightly charred, about 3 minutes. Flip over and cook the other side for another 3 minutes. Be careful not to burn the florets.
- Carrots – Scrub clean and dry thoroughly. Coat with oil. Grill, turning as they char lightly, until soft and blackened nicely in spots, about 20 minutes for large carrots or 10 minutes for small, thin carrots.
- Vegetables that need a head start (steam or blanch before grilling): Whole Artichokes – trimmed, halved and steamed for 25-35 minutes, choke removed. Brush with oil and grill for 5-10 minutes, or until char marks appear. Flip over and grill until slightly charred. Skip prep ahead steps if using artichoke hearts.
- Brussels sprouts – trimmed. Boil in salted water for 4 minutes. If you cut them in half, boil for 2 minutes. Drain and allow to cool slightly. Toss with oil and grill for 8 minutes, turning every couple of minutes.
- Cauliflower – For cauliflower steaks, slice cauliflower into 3⁄4 inch steaks. Steam for 5 minutes. Brush both sides with oil and grill for 6 minutes on each side or until slightly charred and tender. For cauliflower florets, boil in salted water for 3-4 minutes. Drain and allow to cool slightly. Toss to coat with oil and grill for 4 minutes on each side until slightly charred and tender.
- Potatoes – small potatoes can be left whole and larger ones can be sliced or chopped into thirds or quarters. Boil in salted water for 5-10 minutes, or until barely tender. Drain, allow to cool slightly, brush with oil and grill until you get char marks on both sides.
Serving Suggestions for Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette
- Grilled or roasted vegetables – any of them!
- Over a grain bowl (above I have quinoa, chickpeas and grilled vegetables)
- Pasta salad
- Over eggs, a frittata, or a tofu scramble
- Over grilled proteins like salmon or chicken kabobs
- Do a twist on a Panzanella but with croutons and Manchego cheese
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- 1⁄2 cup roasted red peppers
- 2 1⁄2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 1⁄2 Tablespoons water
- 2 1⁄2 Tablespoons unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Place all vinaigrette ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning.