Roasted red peppers make everything better. Seriously. Salads, sandwiches, pasta, hummus: all better with roasted red peppers. And as good as roasted peppers are plain, they're even better soaked in some olive oil and vinegar.
My dad makes these red peppers all the time and when I started cooking for myself, this was one of the first recipes I asked for. It's great because it requires very little hands-on time and once prepared, the peppers can sit in the fridge for quite a while. In my opinion, they are actually better after a few days marinating in the oil and vinegar mixture.
Roasted red peppers also make a delicious dip that goes well with pita chips, goat cheese and bacon-wrapped dates, among other things. Just throw them into a blender with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and blend until smooth (for an even richer taste, add some cream).
Roasted Red Peppers
Makes 4 peppers
4 large red bell peppers, rinsed
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp good olive oil
1-2 tbsp red wine vinegar (balsamic vinegar also works)
Freshly ground black pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes
Brown paper bag
Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Chop off the bottoms of the peppers so that they sit upright when placed on the baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, until the skins are wrinkled and browned, but not burned or charred.
Immediately place the peppers in a brown paper bag and seal. Allow them to sit for 10 minutes. Remove peppers from the bag one at a time and run under cold water. Peel off the skins and remove the seeds and white/translucent portions.
Heat the oil in a large skillet until hot, but not smoking. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add peppers and vinegar. Cook over low heat until peppers have absorbed the oil and vinegar flavors, no longer than 5 minutes. Remember, the peppers are already cooked. The purpose of cooking them on the stove top is to reheat them and add flavor. You don't want to cook them for too long or cook them on a burner that is too hot.
Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. To store, cool completely and place in Tupperware with oil and vinegar mixture. Refrigerate.
|Roasted red peppers make a great addition to sandwiches, salads and pastas|
Source: adapted from Larry North