Hold the red peppers

+ -
Red peppers are ready for the kitchens and

Red peppers are ready for the kitchens and classrooms at the Culinary Insititute of America in Hyde Park. (Oct. 24, 2012) Photo Credit: Rory Glaeseman

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Feed Me

The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.

A friend told me about a disappointing meal he’d had recently, concluding with, “and the salad had red peppers in it.” This friend has apparently absorbed my dining-out prejudices, down to the nit-pickiest. I hate to see red peppers in salad. “The last refuge of the salad scoundrel,” I always call them.

It’s not that I dislike red bell peppers when they are on their own — roasted, sauteed, pureed (with eggplant) into avjar, the great Serbian pepper-eggplant sauce. But their distinctive flavor marries badly with most other salad ingredients, and the chef’s intent in deploying them is invariably “to add color.”

advertisement | advertise on newsday

To which I respond, “Why?“

A green salad is perfect in its greenness like a golf course, a shamrock, a hedgerow. It needs red pepper the way the Mona Lisa needs a red balloon.

Subscribe to our newsletter for restaurant recommendations, recipes and more.


Newsday.com now uses Facebook for our comment boards. Please read our guidelines and connect your Facebook account to comment.

You also may be interested in: