I LOVE roasted red peppers. Love, love, love, love, love. OK, you get the point. I love the sweetness partnered with the toasty flavor from the small flecks of char still left on the pepper. Add a little olive oil and you’ve won me over.
But here’s the problem—if I bought roasted red peppers in the grocery store as often as I eat them, I’d go broke. At my local grocery store, 12 ounces of roasted red peppers (8.25 ounces drained) goes for about $3.79. I mean, one jar may not break the bank, but I’d like this roasted goodness to be a staple in my house, not a delicacy. A 12 ounce jar contains 1 to 1.5 bell peppers, which I can roast for about $1.50-$2.25 when the peppers aren’t even on sale. With my conservative estimate, you’re saving at least $1.54 each time you roast at home rather than buy the jar. And if you grow red bell peppers in your home garden this is practically free! You can’t beat that!
So here’s how you do it: Take your whole red pepper and put it on the flame of a gas stove. Yup, just sit that thing right on the stove grate. Turn on the burner and char away. Using tongs, periodically turn the pepper over so that the entire thing is completely charred all the way around (I love recipes that instruct you to burn your food!).
After your bell is sufficiently burnt, turn off the flame and, using your tongs, place the pepper in a bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let it hang out in that steam room for at least 20 minutes. Then remove the plastic wrap and scrape all the char off the pepper. It’ll flake off really easily.
At this point, I just tear off the stem of the pepper and rinse away the seeds. Put the pepper in a jar or dish and add a little olive oil, if desired. And that’s it! If you don’t have a gas stove, try roasting the pepper over a fire of any kind—just like you’d roast a marshmallow. Maybe instead of s’mores at your next campfire, roast up some peppers! For a quick and easy party food, take a bit of roasted pepper, basil and a bite-sized piece of fresh mozzarella. Secure with a toothpick and drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar. Make a few of these and you’ve got a crowd-pleasing appetizer!
Of course, you can repeat this process with any kind of bell pepper. I’ve got some orange and yellow ones I can’t wait to roast up for salads, paninis and hummus.
What’s your favorite recipe using roasted peppers?