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Roasted Tomato And Pepper Salad With Mango Salsa recipe from The Natural Vitality Chef

This exuberantly colourful salad makes a lovely first course or light lunch, and the combination of the sharp tomatoes, bitter peppers, punchy chillies and fruity salsa is fantastic -the flavours are mellow, savoury, spicy, sharp and sweet, all at the same time. While the peppers do take a bit of time to prepare, they can be done in advance – as can the tomatoes – and the whole salad put together just before eating.


Serves 2 as a light lunch

250 g/9 oz red cherry tomatoes, halved

5 ml/1 tsp honey

75 ml/5 tbsp olive oil

15 g/1/2 oz fresh coriander, coarsely chopped

2 good handfuls rocket or salad leaves, washed and dried

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the roasted peppers:-

1 large red pepper, about 200 g/7 oz

1 large yellow pepper, about 200 g/7 oz

1 large orange pepper, about 200 g/7 oz

60 ml/4 tbsp olive oil

250 g/9 oz red onions, peeled and sliced

3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

5 ml/1 tsp chipotle chilli sauce

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the mango salsa:-

1 large mango, peeled and diced

75 g/3 oz red onions, peeled and finely chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced

45 ml/3 tbsp olive oil

15 ml/1 tbsp fresh lime juice, about 1/2 lime

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Start off with the peppers. Heat the grill to high. Line the grill pan with foil, arrange the peppers on it, and grill about 10 cm/4 in from the heat, turning them as needed, until the skin is blistered and charred all over. Cool, peel, discard the stem, core and seeds, and cut into long strips about 1 cm/1/2 in wide.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onions until soft and starting to brown, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic, chipotle chilli sauce, pepper strips and some seasoning, and cook on medium heat for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check the seasoning.

Roast the tomatoes while the peppers are cooking.

Heat the oven to 200oC/400oF/gas 6/fan oven 180oC. Arrange the tomato halves, cut side up and close together, in a roasting tray lined with foil and drizzle first with honey, then 1 tbsp of olive oil. Season well and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until soft and lightly caramelised but not dried out. Set aside to cool.

The peppers and tomatoes can be cooked up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated.

For the mango salsa, mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. The salsa will sit happily for an hour or two.

Carefully stir together the remaining olive oil, peppers and tomatoes, coriander and some seasoning in a bowl.

Spread the rocket out on two plates, top with the vegetables and spoon the mango salsa over them.

Serve immediately.

And what about this salad's nutritional talents? They are almost too numerous to list! Let's start with tomatoes: packed with Vitamins A, C and K, as well as the valuable antioxidant carotenoid known as lycopene and the minerals potassium, manganese and iron. Olive oil? Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and full of monounsaturated fat. Coriander is valuable for removing heavy metals from the body and aiding digestion. Peppers are immune-boosting, rich in carotenoids and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which help support eye health, as well as folate and Vitamins A and C. Mangoes are another source of zeaxanthin and may help protect against macular degeneration; they also provide Vitamins A, B6, E and K as well as potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium; and they are a good source of the antioxidants quercetin and beta-carotene. Onions are a natural antibiotic, high in antioxidants such as polyphenols and flavonoids, anti-inflammatory, and include Vitamins B1, B6 and C, and the mineral potassium. Garlic, like onions, is a natural antibiotic, and extensive scientific research has linked it in a supportive role for conditions such as diabetes, hair loss, high blood pressure, dementia, colds and infections. Rocket, a member of the cruciferous family, provides Vitamins A, K and folate, is anti-inflammatory and an excellent source of isothiocyanates, chemical compounds which are reputed to have anti-carcinogenic and anti-proliferative properties. And finally, chillies, which supply Vitamins A, B6 and C, as well as potassium and copper and carotenoid antioxidants; and their capsaicin content gives them pain killing properties.

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