Cooking Tip Thursdays is dedicated to making time in the kitchen quicker, easier, and just plain better….
Roasted red peppers are a great way to add an intense, smoky flavor to salads, sandwiches, stir-fries, dips, soups, and pasta without adding unnecessary or unwanted calories and fat. With the easy tips posted below, you will have freshly roasted peppers in under 20 minutes. And once you’ve tasted homemade roasted red peppers, you will never settle for the jarred kind again – which often have added salt, sugar and chemicals…
To roast, start by washing the peppers and removing any stickers. If you have a gas stovetop, you can place the pepper right over the flame. Hold it with tongs or just rest it directly on the burner grate (which is what I do). Use tongs to turn the pepper until blackened on all sides. Cook on a grill the same way. If you cook on an electric range, put the peppers on a baking sheet under the broiler, turning every few minutes until done. It doesn’t matter too much how long you char the peppers, you just want most of the skin to turn black and crisp. Basically as long as it looks like it went to hell and back, you’re in good shape.
Once the peppers are charred, place in a bowl tightly covered with plastic wrap or a closed brown paper bag.
As the steam from the peppers condenses, the skin becomes easier to peel off. Once the peppers have cooled, carefully rub off the blackened skin and discard. You can do this with your fingers or a sharp pairing knife. A bowl of water next to you is key for cleaning your hands as you go. Pull or cut off the top of the pepper and squeeze gently to remove the seeds. I prefer to not rinse or wash the peppers as the water diminishes the smoky flavor. I promise the mess is worth it.
Once the skins and seeds have been removed you can place the peppers in an airtight jar, cover in oil, add garlic slices, herbs, or my favorite, pine nuts and golden raisins, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
*The same technique can be used to roast eggplant.
The peppers photographed here were roasted about 30 minutes ago and will be used with tonight’s dinner of a portobello burger topped with fresh pesto, arugula, and of course, roasted red peppers…