I wind up grilling a lot of red bell peppers. I love having them on hand to slip into a sandwich, garnish a steamed fillet of fish, serve with crisp roast chicken. Having grilled red bell peppers on hand is like having a fabulous meal in the wings.
Grilling is simple. I have a gas stove, so I set the pepper right atop the flame and stay close by to turn it until its skin is completely charred.
It takes all of about 8 minutes on my stove (Commetto), which is very powerful, but it won’t take much longer on any gas stove or grill. If you don’t have a flame, grill the pepper under the broiler. You’ll still need to stay close by to turn it regularly. The idea is to grill the skin and only slightly cook the pepper.
Once the skin is grilled all over, I put the pepper in a paper bag to steam, which loosens the skin so that it just rubs away.
This is messy business, so work over a bowl.
Once the bulk of the skin is removed, scrape away any remaining skin then, if necessary, rub off tiny pieces with a paper towel. Don’t rinse the pepper – you’ll rinse away flavor.
Now, cut around the stem end, gently pull out the seeds, and discard them. Some will remain inside the pepper, so carefully scrape them out.
Then, slice away the pith.
You’ve now got a gorgeous roasted red bell pepper on your hands! Pat it dry, and it is ready to use.
Try the recipe here – you’ll find a million uses for it.
Roasted Red Bell Peppers With Garlic
Poivrons Grilles A l’Ail
These must be refrigerated. Remove from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before you want to serve them, to allow the oil to return to a liquid state.
3 large red bell peppers weighing 1-/2 pounds (750g) total
3 large cloves garlic, green germ removed, cut lengthwise into thin, matchstick pieces
1 ½ cups (750ml) extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon fleur de sel
1. Roast the bell peppers over an open flame or under the broiler, until their skins are entirely blackened, turning them frequently so they roast evenly. Depending on your heat source, this will take about 10 minutes. Place the roasted peppers in a brown paper bag, and let them sit for 10 minutes, then peel and seed them. To peel the peppers, simply rub away the peel with your fingers. Be sure to remove all the white pith as well. Remove any remaining black skin using paper towels or a plastic scraper – do not rinse them. Pat them dry, and slice into thin (1/4-inch;.75cm) slices, then into ½-inch (1.25cm) long pieces.
2. Place the peppers and the garlic in a medium-sized bowl and add the oil. If it doesn’t cover them, add additional oil until they are covered. Add the salt, stir, and your peppers are ready to use. To store, place them in a glass container, cover, and refrigerate. The oil will solidify. To use, remove from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before you plan to use them, to allow the oil to return to a liquid state.
About 2 cups peppers in oil