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Garlic, salami and roasted capsicum salad

Lala brought this lovely recipe to New Zealand from her native Madagascar and passed it on to Fiona, a mutual friend, who affectionately named it “bad breath salad”.

It doesn't matter what you call it: this garlic, salami and capsicum salad is a great recipe when you found a number of capsicums (also known as bell pepper or sweet pepper) for a good price.

Marietjie’s often roasts the capsicum. The result is a sweeter salad with a slightly smoky flavour.

Ingredients

Marietjie’s version with roasted capsicum:

  • 3 to 5 capsicums (depending on their size), of various colours – the yellow, orange and red ones are particularly good when roasted
  • 50 to 100 gram salami, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon (2 ml) freshly ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) balsamic vinegar

The original Malagasy version, as made by Lala and Fiona:

  • 4 to 5 capsicums (depending on their size), of various colours
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 300 gram salami, sliced (pepperoni works well too)
  • ½ teaspoon (2 ml) freshly ginger, grated
  • Approximately ½ cup of cheese, grated (using a coarse grater) or sliced into short thin strips
  • Vinegar and olive oil for dressing

Optional:

  • Salt and black pepper to season
  • 1 or two cloves of garlic, finely chopped (only required if you don't have any salami)

Method

With roasted capsicum:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Place the capsicum in an oven dish and bake uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour until the skin is dark and started to blister. The flesh should be soft and sweet. You can bake it faster, at a higher temperature.
  3. Place in a bowl, cover with cling wrap and let it cool down until you can handle it. Preserve any capsicum juices that seeped from the capsicum while baking.
  4. Peel the skin and discard the seeds, membranes and stems. Use a teaspoon or paper towel to remove the seeds – rinsing roasted capsicum under the tap will loose too much of its flavour.
  5. Gently combine the capsicum, salami, fresh parsley and grated ginger in a large salad bowl.
  6. Add the capsicum’s cooking juices to the salad, and season with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Original version:

  1. Place capsicum, salami, ginger and garlic in a large salad bowl.
  2. Sprinkle with vinegar and oil and mix gently.
  3. Add the cheese. It should not dominate the salad, so start with a little bit first.
  4. The cheese and salami tends to make the salad salty and peppery enough, but you can season lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper if you really want to.