Tuesday, June 28, 2011

DIY roasted red peppers

Roasted red peppers scream summertime. Their understated sweetness catapults so many foods to the next flavor level. Roasted red peppers taste terrific atop crusty bread, seasoned with fresh basil, salt, pepper, olive oil and enjoyed with a glass of dry rose. They can also elevate a humble sandwich from drab to fab. For an easy summer dinner, try them, thinly sliced, tossed with some arugula and served over whole wheat pasta with a dousing of best-quality extra-virgin olive oil.

For some unknown reason, jarred red peppers are ridiculously expensive, and they're not as good as homemade. When you roast your own red peppers, you retain control over some important factors:
  • The red peppers, themselves. Please use organic. Peppers are #8 on the dirty dozen, and are one of the most heavily sprayed crops.
  • The quality of the extra-virgin olive oil you soak them in [I love Colavita Fruttato]
  • Freshness: God knows how long those jarred peppers have been sitting on the shelf.
  • Sustainability: Instead of paying an arm and a leg for carbon-footprint-heavy peppers that have been flown in from Italy, you can roast peppers that your friendly neighborhood farmer grew – with a totally clear conscience.

Since I don't have an outdoor space, grill or gas stove, I've always been a bit mystified by the idea of roasting peppers. F-stop [a photographer by day, foodie by night] showed me how easy it is. First, you place the peppers on the hot grill and roast them, lid down...

...Until the skin is black and charred, and the peppers are totally "pooped" and wilted.

Transfer the peppers to plate. They are sizzling hot at this point, so you might want to carefully cut a slit in them to let the steam escape.


When they're cool enough to handle, run them under water and rub off the blackened skin.

Now slice them, then place them in a jar or container and douse with your favorite extra-virgin olive oil. Wasn't that easy?

We enjoyed ours with olive ciabatta bread on a incredible roasted portobello burger that F-stop also grilled, along with a corn-edamame salad from Whole Foods. Lucky me!

Finally, I'd like leave you with a bit of culture. One of F-stop's garden slugs made this on his grill lid. This little guy is obviously an abstract expressionist prodigy.


Theresa said...

Hey, I like the new look :)

And I'm with you - I've had a strange desire to roast red peppers since watching people do it on the food network back in high school, but without a gas stove or grill I still never have. One tip I do remember from way back then, though, is to put the peppers in a paper bag when they're hot - they steam a bit and it makes the skin slip off more easily, supposedly.

dreaminitvegan said...

Yummy looking sandwich. We grill peppers all of the time along with a bunch of other veggies all through the summer. We usually just slice them up and toss with some olive oil and sea salt then throw on the grill. We usually just keep the skin on so we don't roast them until they are blackened. You are right about jarred peppers...they can be pricey!

Millie said...

I love those roasted peppers...I bet they were delicious.

Katie said...

yum! we just got a grill and haven't used it yet. totally excited to try this!

T said...

Thanks for the how-to, these look spectacular!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say I love your blog, and I just bought your book, The Urban Vegan, over the weekend. I've already made several items, and have a huge list of many more to try over the next few weeks. Thanks!!

shortyshawna said...

I am not aq vfegan but i liked these peppers, can u post similarveggie recepies?

Use http://as-seen-on-tv-promotions.com/perfect-brownie

vegancouchpotato said...

That looks great! Next time we grill we will have to try that!

Jesse @ Happy Go Lucky Vegan said...

Roasted peppers is the perfect summer treat! I've never roasted my own, but I'd like to give it the old college try!