I developed this recipe and brought it to several Les Dames functions, where it quickly became a favorite of two early members of our Chicago chapter, Katherine Smith and Marian Tripp. The salad is best made with the lovely goat cheese named for another member, Sofia Solomon: Capriole farm’s award-winning “Sofia.” — Karen Levin
3 medium red bell peppers
3 medium yellow bell peppers
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon-style, or hot Dijon-style, mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced basil leaves
4 ounces best quality goat cheese, crumbled
1. Preheat the broiler. Cut the peppers lengthwise into quarters; discard stems and seeds. Place the peppers, skin-side-up, on a foil-lined jelly roll pan or baking sheet. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat source until the skin is evenly blackened, 12 to 14 minutes. Wrap the peppers up in the foil from the pan and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, combine the oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt, sugar, and pepper in a small bowl and whisk together to make the dressing.
3. Unwrap the peppers. Working over the foil, peel off and discard the blackened skin. Pour any accumulated pepper juices from the foil into the dressing.
4. Arrange the peppers attractively in a shallow 1 1/2-quart oval or round serving dish. Whisk the dressing and drizzle over the peppers. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.
5. Before serving, bring to room temperature and top with the basil and goat cheese. Top with additional freshly ground black pepper if desired.