Tapas Salad with Peppers, Olives, and Capers
Tapas Salad with Peppers, Olives, and Capers is a great summer side dish and you can make this with roasted peppers from a jar if you prefer. And this tasty salad is low in carbs, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
Anyone who is a fan of roasted bell peppers should make this delicious Tapas Salad with Peppers, Olives, and Capers for a tasty summer side dish! It was similar to a salad I had when I visited Boston and ate at a wonderful tapas bar called Estragon with my blogging friend Lydia and her husband Ted. The next day we passed a bookstore where I spotted The Tapas Cookbook on a bargain table and bought it as a souvenir of the trip. The Tapas Salad was adapted from a recipe that book, and it’s a perfect little small-plate salad to accompany light summer meals.
Another plus for this as a late-summer salad is that bell peppers of all colors are usually plentiful and inexpensive at farmers markets this time of year. My version of the salad bumps up the flavor of capers by adding a little caper brine to the dressing, and I also use a generous amount of fresh marjoram, an herb that I really started to love after my sister Sandee gave me the recipe for Marinated Tomato Salad with Herb Dressing. If you don’t have access to fresh marjoram, I think basil or oregano would both work in this.
What are Tapas?
Even if you’re not that familiar with Spanish cuisine, chances are good that you’ve heard of tapas, a wide variety of small-plate appetizers that are served as snacks in bars in Spain.
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
- red bell pepper
- yellow bell pepper
- orange bell pepper (or use any combination of colors you have available)
- canned black olives
- Capers (affiliate link)
- good quality olive oil
- Spanish Sherry vinegar (see notes in recipe for substitutes)
- caper brine (from the jar of capers)
- chopped fresh marjoram (Use oregano or basil if you don’t have marjoram.)
- Minced Garlic (affiliate link)
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Can you use roasted peppers from a jar?
I encourage you to make the roasted peppers as shown in this recipe so you can use multiple colors of peppers, and And roasting red bell peppers on a barbecue grill couldn’t be easier! And definitely the flavor of the grilled peppers is amazing. But if that’s just never happening at your house the salad will still be delicious with Roasted Red Peppers in a jar (affiliate link)
How to make the salad:
(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)
- I used red, yellow, and orange bell peppers, but you can use any color. Follow the instructions for roasting red bell peppers on a barbecue grill.
- When the peppers are nicely charred, put them in a bowl, cover with cling-wrap, and let the skins steam off.
- Here’s how my peppers looked when I peeled off the skins. The slightly charred parts that remain add a lot of good flavor.
- Then cut the grilled peppers into short, thick strips, making pieces that are all about the same size.
- Drain the olives well. I used regular black olives from a can, but if you want to splurge on imported Spanish olives, the salad could only get better.
- Capers and olives are both pretty salty, so I rinsed the capers and let them drain.
- Wash, dry, and chop the fresh marjoram or other herb of your choice. (I forgot to take a photo of that, oops!)
- Whisk together olive oil, sherry vinegar, caper brine, marjoram, minced garlic, salt, and pepper to make the dressing.
- Then combine the roasted pepper strips, olives, capers, and dressing.
- You can serve it right away, but this is also a perfect dish to make ahead and let marinate at room temperature until you’re ready to serve it.
Make it a Low-Carb Meal:
For a low-carb meal, this Tapas Salad with Grilled Bell Peppers, Olives, and Capers would make a great small-plate side dish for something like Marinated Flank Steak, Sauteed Scallops with Garlic, or Grilled Garlic Chicken with Red Pepper-Aioli Sauce.
More Recipes with Grilled or Roasted Bell Peppers:
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 large yellow bell pepper
- 1 large orange bell pepper (or use any combination of colors you have available)
- one 6 oz. can black olives
- 2 T capers, rinsed and drained
- 2 T + 2 tsp. good quality olive oil
- 1 T + 1 tsp. Spanish Sherry vinegar (see notes)
- 1 tsp. caper brine
- 3 T chopped fresh marjoram (see notes)
- 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- (You may want to read How to Roast Bell Peppers on a Barbecue Grill before you make this salad.)
- Preheat barbecue grill to high.
- Cut the bell peppers into fourths, trim curled ends and cut out the seeds.
- Place peppers on the grill skin side down, making sure not to put them too close together.
- Grill peppers until skins are very charred, about 20-25 minutes, depending on your grill.
- As individual peppers become nicely blackened, remove them from the grill and place in a plastic or glass bowl.
- When all the peppers are charred and placed in the bowl, cover it with cling-wrap and let peppers steam for about 15 minutes.
- Then peel off skins and discard, and cut peppers into short thick strips. (I cut each quarter pepper into crosswise strips.)
- Put olives into a colander and let them drain.
- Spoon out 2 T capers into a small strainer; then rinse the capers and let them drain.
- Wash marjoram (or other herb of your choice), dry, and chop.
- Whisk together the olive oil, Spanish Sherry vinegar (or other vinegar), caper brine, minced garlic, salt, and pepper to make the dressing.
- Combine grilled pepper strips, olives, capers, and dressing in a plastic or glass bowl.
- The salad can be served right away or allowed to marinate for several hours at room temperature until you’re ready to serve it.
You can substitute white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar if you don't have Sherry Vinegar. Use chopped oregano or basil if you don't have majoram.
If you wanted to make this into a more substantial side-dish salad I think chopped fresh tomatoes or cucumbers would make a nice addition.This kept well in the refrigerator for several days. Let come to room temperature again before serving.
Recipe adapted from The Tapas Cookbook.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 104Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 579mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Everything in this Tapas Salad is a perfect low-carb ingredient, suitable for low-carb and Keto eating plans and all phases of the original South Beach Diet. The recipe is also Paleo or Whole 30.
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Use Salad Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2011. It was last updated in 2021.