Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Roasted Peppers

I love all bell peppers, but especially the red, yellow, or orange ones.  Don't get me wrong, a green pepper is wonderful in its own right, but if you are going to roast a pepper, it has to be a color other than green, since they are just a little too strong in flavor.

I served a platter of roasted peppers as an appetizer and I can't begin to tell you how scrumptious it was in its simplicity.  Perfect peppers, perfectly roasted, and simply dressed with a little salt and pepper, fresh herbs, very thinly sliced garlic and olive oil.  You can't believe how good this was.

Roasted Peppers
Makes 4 servings

5 large bell peppers, preferably not green
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh parsley, basil, rosemary or thyme leaves, or a combination, plus extra for serving
1-2 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced (optional)
Approximately 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat, parchment paper, or aluminum foil.

Wash and dry the peppers, put them on the baking sheet, and roast them, turning them every 15 minutes, until some of the skin on every side of the peppers is blistered, 45 to 60 minutes.  The peppers may collapse and some may seep some juice - that's fine.  Transfe the peppers to a bowl (be careful since the juice is very hot), cover the bowl with foil, and let the peppers rest until they are cool enough to handle.

In the meantime, pull out a Pyrex loaf pan, or if you plan to serve the peppers soon, a large platter, perferably one with a slightly raised rim.

Working with 1 pepper at a time and working over the bowl, remove the stem, let the liquid drain from the pepper, and separate the peel from the flesh.  You can suually do this with your fingers, but if a little peel sticks stubbornly, scrape it away with a paring knife.  Cut the pepper open along its natural separations - depending on the pepper, this will mean cutting it in half or thirds - and scrape away the seeds and ribs on the inside.  Place the pepper pieces cut side down in the loaf pan (or on the platter).

If you have time, cover and chill before serving, garnished with fresh herbs.

From Around my French Table

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