Sunday, April 22, 2012

Roasted Reds

red bell pepper are sweet not hot

I don't think I ever ate a red bell pepper when I was growing up. Green peppers were common; they were cut up in salads or stuffed and baked, but red peppers appeared only on antipasto platters or as stuffing inside little green olives.

Today, though, I consider red peppers a staple. Luckily, they are a healthful food, very high in Vitamin C, A, B6, and other good things. I eat them because they are delicious. In warm weather, I often lunch on half a pepper filled with cottage cheese laced with chopped scallion, cucumber, and radish. I add raw peppers to most salads and to many sandwiches. I love the crunch as well as the color.

Roasted or grilled peppers lack the crunch but have a deeply satisfying flavor. I have been making them every week since I received my new grill. It is such a luxury to be able to cook up one pepper at a time. Previously, I had bought my grilled peppers in small containers. They were pretty expensive.  I can understand why; they require a human touch.

Still, making these peppers is easy: cut one or more into quarters vertically. Rub the pieces with oil. Either bake in a 500-degree oven or grill over a hot fire until charred and blackened, about 5 minutes to a side. Remove from heat and immediately place into a paper bag or a covered dish. Let sit until cool enough to handle. Peel off the blackened skin and coat with olive oil (add garlic if you like). Keep refrigerated.

Try roasted peppers on French bread with brie, melted cheddar, or goat cheese. You'll see why they have become a staple in my house.

1 comment:

  1. I love eating them raw and juice them regularly.