Roasted Red Bell Peppers

After the post from a short time ago that included roasted peppers, it occurred to me that I should also post a recipe… or the “how to” for them. It’s the best possible thing you can do with the local hot house peppers, that are now in shops.

For the purpose of this post, I only did one pepper. You’ll do more of course, as once prepared they will keep indefinitely in the fridge, in a tightly sealed glass container. The charring really brings out the sweetness and natural flavour in the peppers, and having them on hand means you can easily add that flavour to many dishes.

Pizza is a good example. When diced and used as a topping, the sweet pepper taste is even further enhanced by the oven cooking. Try using them in a sandwiches or grilled panini for a dee-lish boost of flavour. Make that burger more interesting by including some, or make a red pepper mayonnaise by blitzing some with your fave mayo in a food processor.

The easiest, and one of the nicest ways to enjoy them would be simply piled atop some grilled crusty bread for an quick & delicious appetizer.

You have to admire humble bell peppers – they bring flavour, colour, interest and nutrition to the party. If you don’t have a gas stove, a barbecue is also ideal for the roasting & charring process – and it gives you a large surface area to do many at once.

Roasted Red Bell Peppers

Be patient while the peppers are roasting – they’ll take 20 – 25 minutes to get that all-over char, depending on how high your heat is. Once you’ve eaten the peppers, save the oil. Much like the oil from sun-dried tomatoes, you can use it to flavour almost anything.

Red bell peppers, at least 2 – even if it’s your first time
Salt, just a pinch per bell pepper
Pepper, another pinch per bell pepper
Extra virgin olive oil, to just cover
*optional: several fresh basil leaves, 1 or 2 cloves of garlic

Gas burner(s) or barbecue, on medium high heat
Long handled, heat proof tongs – to turn the peppers
A plastic food safe bag of some kind – where the peppers will steam & cool off
Glass jar or container, large enough to hold the cooked & sliced peppers

The How To:

 Place the peppers on medium-high heat and give a few minutes before turning…

 Keep turning the peppers using the long handled tongs… you really want them as charred as possible.

 Your patience will be rewarded – the more char, the sweeter the taste~

Remove peppers from heat and place in any food safe bag… let sit for around 20 minutes. Once cooled, start peeling off the blackened skin; you can also use the bag as a sort of glove to help. Whatever you do, resist the urge to stick the pepper under a running faucet… you’ll be washing away flavour!

After peeling, I used a plate for the deseeding and cutting – to capture the juice that will accumulate. Carefully remove seeds and membranes from inside, then cut into long strips, about 1/2 inch wide. You can later cut them thinner, or dice them as needed. 

 A small fork helped scrape away the pesky seeds…

Pile the goodness into your storage container – peppers, any accumulated juice, a small sprinkle of salt & pepper, extra virgin olive oil… and any extras you care to add. Stash in the fridge until needed, then remove at least 20 minutes before using. Any cloudiness that’s appeared in the oil will dissipate as the oil warms. Buon appetito~ 

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