The mild weather we’ve been experiencing in Montreal has put me in the mood for salad. But not just any salad: a tasteful Fregola Salad with Roasted Red Pepper.
Whether you are looking for a fregola salad recipe to serve at your next dinner party or just something simple and easy to make on a busy weeknight, you will love this flavorful recipe!
As you can see, fregola look like tiny beads. These tiny beads have a wonderful nutty taste because they’ve been lightly toasted.
Originating from the south side of Sardinia (in Italy), fregola has often been compared to Israeli couscous. Sardinians will often prepare it with fresh clams and tomatoes. Thanks to its wonderful versatility and some very creative chefs, it can appear in soups, as a side dish, or, my favorite, in salads.
I’ve read that it is surprisingly easy to make your fregola at home. The procedure combines some coarse and fine semolina with a sprinkle of salted water. You then have to rub the mixture with your hands until the tiny beads are formed. Toast in the oven and there you have it: homemade fregola. I’ve never made my own fregola, but it’s on my to-do list (or, at least, on my to-attempt list). So for now, I buy my fregola in an Italian specialty store.
The combination of simple ingredients like roasted red pepper and fennel, along with the nuttiness of the fregola, is a guaranteed winner.
Best fregola recipes
I visited Sardinia about thirty-five years ago, as I previously mentioned in this post about soft amaretti cookies. That was my introduction to the food of Sardinia, and I’ve been on the lookout for salads that incorporate fregola ever since.
A couple of years ago, I came across a recipe in the Food Section of the Montreal Gazette, submitted by a Montreal chef named Michele Forgione.
Thank you, Chef Michele, for inspiring one of the best salad recipes.
As usual, I had to play around with the ingredients to make it my own.
What changes will you make to call it your own?
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★★★★★ If you have made this Italian fregola Sarda recipe, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
Fregola Salad with Roasted Red Pepper
- 500 grams fregola
- ½ cup Corinthian raisins
- ½ cup olive oil extra virgin
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ½ cup pitted oil-cured black olives chopped
- 1 medium fennel diced
- 3 tablespoons chives fresh, chopped
- 3 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley chopped
- 1 tablespoon basil chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup pine nuts toasted
- ⅔ cup roasted red pepper chopped
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the fregola.
- Stir and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until al dente.
- Add the raisins during the last minute of cooking.
- Drain and set aside.
- Whisk together olive oil and vinegar in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the fregola, olives, fennel and herbs. Combine.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Gently combine the pine nuts and the roasted red pepper.
- Cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve.
- Serve this salad warm, at room temperature or cold.